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Faculty Profile

Elizabeth OstrowskiElizabeth Ostrowski

Assistant Professorr
Department of Biology and Biochemistry

Office: Science & Research 2, 221E
Contact: eaostrowski@uh.edu - (713) 743-2557

Education: Ph.D., Michigan State University, B.A., University of Virginia

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Research in Dr. Elizabeth Ostrowski’s lab examines why organisms cooperate and behave altruistically, and how cooperation among groups can be maintained when there are advantages to the individual for behaving selfishly. Her lab focuses primarily on the social amoeba (a.k.a., cellular slime mold) Dictyostelium discoideum, an unusual organism that can exist in either a unicellular or multicellular state and where some individuals sacrifice themselves for the good of the group, while others behave selfishly. The group combines laboratory experimental evolution of these behaviors with studies of natural populations in order to understand the emergence of adaptations that promote cooperative behaviors and prevent or repress conflict.