Silja Heilmann

Silja in a Suitcase
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My Interests

My main research interest lies in exploring the mechanisms that allow phage to coexist with their bacterial hosts. Virulent phages and bacteria represent an unusual sort of predator-prey system where each time a prey is eaten, hundreds of new predators are born. It is puzzling how, despite the apparent effectiveness of the phage predators, they manage to avoid driving their bacterial prey to extinction. I am especially fascinated by how spatial heterogeneity, whether it be preexisting or self organized, influences phage bacteria coexistence. I am also interested in questions regarding the evolutionary arms race between phage and bacteria. The tools I utilize to explore these topics are mainly mathematical and computational modeling.


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