Researcher at the Max Planck Institute pour la biologie evolutive, Plön, Germany
Eco-evolution of the collective behaviour of microbial populations
Department of Biology
, updated on
10 January 2022
Silvia De Monte
Institut de biologie de l’ENS (IBENS)
6ème étage, bureau 602b
46, rue d'Ulm 75230 Paris cedex 05
01 44 323709

My work aims at integrating the mechanisms underlying collective behaviour into models for the evolution of microbial populations and communities.

Field of research

I have always been fascinated by the collective behaviour of biological populations, and wondered how they can maintain cohesiveness and cooperation despite the possibility that individual interests disrupt their functionality. With my background in physics and biology, I strive to maintain an open dialogue between observational data and mathematical models, with the aim of producing new testable hypotheses on how emergent behaviours of microbial populations evolved.

My current research is focused on the ecological processes underpinning evolution in phenotypically and genetically heterogeneous cellular assemblages. Examples of such `microbial collectives‘ are aggregative multicellular organisms, communities, and biofilms. My models represent the effect of individual properties on population-level ecological and evolutionary dynamics. They aim at uncovering general principles on how selective pressures acting at the collective level are transmitted at the level of cellular interactions, and how cell-level processes shape achievable collective functions.