Welcome to the Foster Lab | The Foster Lab

Welcome to the Foster Lab

We study the social lives of microbes and other group-living species

Organisms regularly meet members of their own and other species. Whenever these interactions affect survival and reproduction - the currencies of Darwin's natural selection - they are "social" in evolutionary terms. This is social evolution and we study social evolution in a diverse range of systems, including insects, humans, and even sperm. Some of our work is theoretical and some is experimental. We also write reviews of key concepts and debates in social evolution. And in recent years, we have come to particularly focus on species whose sociality is often overlooked: the microbes.

On the website you can read more about what we do, find people and download our papers.


New piece in Nature: we collaborated with Harvard Med School to evolved cooperation in human gut bacteria. Read the paper here. Read the commentary in Cell Host and Microbe.

New piece in Cell Host and Microbe: we argue that hosts use adhesive molecules, like IgA, to hold on to their favourite symbiotic bacteria. This was the first theory paper published by Cell Host and Microbe; read it here.