Emily Dolson

Emily Dolson completed the Graduate Certificate while completing a PhD in Computer Science & Engineering and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior

Emily Dolson

Current Location: East Lansing, MI

Degree: PhD in Computer Science & Engineering and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior 

Previous Education, research or work experiences relevant to spatial ecology: Emily began her Graduate Certificate with limited experience from her undergraduate degree studying the spatial distribution of plants in a forest. 

Select Authored Publications: 

  • Emily Dolson, Alexander Lalejini, Steven Jorgensen*, and Charles Ofria. (In press). Quantifying the tape of life: Ancestry-based metrics provide insights and intuition about evolutionary dynamics. Artificial Life 2018.   
  • Emily Dolson and Charles Ofria. (In press) Visualizing the tape of life: exploring evolutionary history with virtual reality. In GECCO ’18 Companion: Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference Companion.    
  • Emily L. Dolson and Charles A. Ofria. (2017). Spatial resource heterogeneity creates local hotspots of evolutionary potential. In Proceedings of the 14th European Conference on Artificial Life 2017. Edited by Carole Knibbe, Guillaume Beslon, David Parsons, Dusan Misevic, Jonathan Rouzaud-Cornabas, Nicolas Bredèche, Salima Hassas, Olivier Simonin, and Hédi Soula. Vol. 14. pp. 122 – 129. DOI: 10.7551/ecal_a_023. MIT Press.     
  • Emily L. Dolson, Michael J. Wiser, and Charles A. Ofria. (2016). The Effects of Evolution and Spatial Structure on Diversity in Biological Reserves. In Artificial Life XV: Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on Artificial Life . Edited by Carlos Gershenson, Tom Froese, Jesus M. Siqueiros, Wendy Aguilar, Eduardo J. Izquierdo and Hiroki Sayama. pp. 434 – 440. DOI: 10.7551/978-0-262-33936-0-ch071. MIT Press.   

What is your graduate research focus?

I study eco-evolutionary dynamics in spatially-structured digital populations.

What are your post-graduation plans?

I plan to pursue a postdoc (and eventually a faculty position).

How does completing this Certificate align with your graduate research and/or career goals?

Completing this certificate gives me important real-world biological background in the topics that I'm addressing on a more abstract/theoretical level. It also (hopefully) serves as an additional credential indicating that I have training in biology (despite computer science being my home department).

What drew you to participate in the Graduate Certificate in Spatial Ecology?

I completed most of the classes before the certificate was officially created. I was drawn to those classes because I am fascinated by why organisms live where they do and I want to study how that interacts with longer-term evolutionary trajectories.

What specific knowledge and skills did you strengthen with this program?

Knowledge of what the current open questions are in spatial and landscape ecology; Understanding of aspects of biology that may introduce quirks into data-sets/deviations from theoretical experiments; Skills in analyzing spatial data with appropriate statistics.

What types of individuals do you believe would benefit from this program?

Anyone who wants to do research on how space influences the distribution of populations.


Example of Emily's Work

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