Matt Cowperthwaite

CSSB Research Fellow

Phone:1 512 544 8059

I use computationally-predicted RNA secondary structure as a model system to study many aspects evolutionary dynamics. In my models, I consider the primary nucleotide sequence as a genotype and the estimated repertoire of lowest free energy secondary structures as the phenotype. Therefore, RNA encompases a compact, biologically grounded genotype-to-phenotype model that is also computationally tractable. I am currently using this system to study several areas of evolutionary dynamics: (1) adaptation, (2) evolution in a fluctuating environment, and (3) evolution of robustness in RNA secondary structures.