Photo of Dr Kaitlin Schaal

Dr Kaitlin Schaal PhD (She/Her)

Postdoctoral Research Associate Evolution, Ecology & Behaviour


Personal Statement

I am an evolutionary biologist interested in how microbial interactions evolve, especially in response to environmental change. I use techniques such as experimental evolution to understand the ecology and evolution of soil bacteria. My research themes include the role of biotic selective pressures in organismal evolution, social behaviors as anti-predator defense, and the evolution of cooperation and cheating in natural populations. During my PhD at the ETH Zurich, I developed a novel model food web based on the social and predatory bacterium Myxococcus xanthus, using the nematode Pristionchus pacificus as an apex predator. At the University of Liverpool, I am studying how environmenal changes impact interactions and patterns of horizontal gene transfer within a bacterial community. I work with Dr James Hall. #fixedterm

Prizes or Honours

  • Connie M. Guion Award (Sweet Briar College, 2014)
  • Sprague-Belcher Award in Biology (Sweet Briar College, 2014)