Sunset at the beach, Løkken

Master's thesis student


Who am I?

I grew up in the southern Indian city of Bangalore, and I am currently a student at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Pune, India. I have a background in mostly mathematics and some biology. During my bachelor’s degree, I have worked on projects in computational biology, stochastic processes, and microbial ecology.
I like to play Dungeons and Dragons, cook (hopefully) tasty food, and go hiking. Since coming to Plön, I also have a newfound appreciation for board games and swimming in its wonderful lakes.

Research interests

I am broadly interested in how eco-evolutionary processes influence biodiversity and the evolution of biological complexity. The evolution of life can be seen as a sequence of associations in which individuals of certain species come together over evolutionary time to form a single, integrated, higher-level entity. This is the common structure underlying the so-called major evolutionary transitions in individuality. I am interested in understanding how and why these transitions took place the way they did.

For my master’s thesis in Plön, I am working on the origins of endosymbiosis. Endosymbiosis has given rise to some of the most fascinating long-term associations known to us, such as the mitochondria in eukaryotic cells and the nutritional endosymbionts of aphids, which have been engaged in obligate symbioses for hundreds of millions of years. What brings and keeps them together, and how does the relationship between host and symbiont change over time? These are some of the questions that we want to answer using tools from evolutionary game theory and adaptive dynamics.

  • Evolutionary game theory
  • Major evolutionary transitions
  • Complex systems

Email address: athreya (at) evolbio (dot) mpg (dot) de
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