Katrina van Raay

Research interests

I use bacteriophages to study the evolution and ecology of host-pathogen interactions.

Viruses that infect bacteria can be thought of as antagonistic parasites of bacterial hosts. I am interested how this kind of interaction can shape the future evolution of a host organism (or parasite). As a host and parasite spend time with one another over multiple generations, they can influence which kinds of naturally occurring variation (such as mutations) fix in the population. Thus, as a host population evolves resistance to the parasite, the parasite is under pressure to evolve a superior infection mechanism. The host is then under pressure to evolve resistance to this new super-parasite. I am interested in how this two-player system (where host and parasite evolve in response to one another) influences where each player ends up after long periods of evolution.

Google scholar profile


kvanraay [snail] uw [period] edu -> mailto:kvanraay [snail] uw [period] edu
Mailing Address
Department of Biology 
University of Washington 
Box 351800 
Seattle, WA 98195