William Kumler Rose Hills
Evolution of multicellularity: Capture of unicellular versus multicellular choanoflagellates by a protozoan predator
All animals are multicellular, but why? My research this summer hopes to answer a part of this question by studying animals’ closest living relative: choanoflagellates. These organisms can be either unicellular or colonial, and it’s been theorized that this discrepancy is due to specific predation- where predators prefer either colonial or unicellular choanoflagellates. This predation could provide an evolutionary pressure that encourages the formation of colonies, a predecessor to true multicellularity.