Ron Chen

Ron Chen's picture
PhD Student
Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Givat Ram, Jerusalem 91904, Israel

Research interests:
I'm interested in complex natural systems and multi level interactions in nature, and their mechanistic, quantitative description. My main field of interest is ecology, but I'm also interested in evolutionary biology, conservation, genetics and systems biology.
In my PhD I'm studying a multifaceted system in a field setting, guided by the general movement ecology framework. The focal animal of the study is the Eurasian jackdaw, and I focus on the following subjects:
1. The social structure of a free-ranging jackdaw colony, including genetic structure, pair bonds and dominance hierarchy.
2. The connection between movement paths of an individual and its dominance rank within group hierarchy.
3. The interaction among movement, social status and reproductive fitness.
4. The interplay among reproductive success, movement, dominance rank and jackdaw mediated plant dispersal.
I did my MSc in the Weizmann Institute at the lab of Naama Barkai, experimenting on baker's yeast (S. cerevisiae) deletion mutants. In my research I studied the phenotypic effect of 380 single gene deletions by quantitatively monitoring their growth rates across nearly 100 different growth environments. I composed the data into phenotypic modules consisting of genes that displayed a correlated phenotypic behavior over multiple conditions. This phenotypic-based modularity was contrasted with the previously derived expression-based modularity. I discovered the two cellular properties define distinct yet related modular entities.