Pedram Samani


I am an experimental evolutionary biologist and currently a postdoctoral research fellow at Dr. Frank Rosenzweig and Dr. Mathew Herron’s labs at Georgia Institute of Technology.

I am broadly interested in the ecological and genetic factors that determine the evolutionary response of populations to novel, stressful, and changing environments. I am also interested in the ecology and evolution of the wild yeast Saccharomyces paradoxus and experimental evolution of anisogamy (evolution of sperm and egg).

I did my M.S. and Ph.D. at McGill University in Montreal, Canada under the supervision of Dr. Graham Bell. During this time my research program was focused on evolutionary rescue of stressed populations, experimental evolution of metabolic specialization, and ecology and evolution of the wild buddying yeast S. paradoxus. I tackled these research objectives through two approaches:

  1. I designed and conducted a series of evolutionary experiments in the lab to evaluate the likelihood of evolutionary rescue in a variety of evolutionary and ecological conditions. Additionally, I investigated the evolution of metabolic specialization in microbial populations using experimental evolution.
  2. My colleagues and I conducted a series of extensive field surveys in North America and Europe to investigate the ecological, metabolic, and genetic variations of wild yeast populations at different spatial scales. We also investigated the potential for local adaptation in wild yeast populations to heterogeneous climatic conditions. Furthermore, we showed that hybridization among North American wild yeast populations may have led to the evolution of an incipient hybrid species with a potentially unique ecological niche.

Currently and during my postdoctoral position in the Rosenzweig and Herron labs at Georgia Tech, I am working on the experimental evolution of anisogamy (evolution of egg and sperm). This project aims to understand the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms involved in the evolution of differentiated male and female gametes (anisogamy). During my postdoc, I plan to experimentally evolve anisogamy in an isogamous eukaryotic microbe, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, which has no differentiated sexual forms.

For a list of my publications please visit my page on Google Scholar.