Research interests:

I am interested in using microbial experiments and statistical physics to test models of evolution in range expansions. Currently, I am measuring the role of individual genes on genetic drift, a stochastic force that balances with selection, mutation, and other evolutionary forces. I am developing a label-free method to measure the strength of genetic drift in thousands of microbial colonies from the Keio E. coli gene deletion collection.


  • 2016: PhD student in Physics, UC Berkeley, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
  • 2011-2015: BS, Physics, MIT

Selected publications:

Q. Yu, Matti Gralka, Marie-Cécilia Duvernoy, Megan Sousa, Arbel Harpak, and Oskar Hallatschek, Mutability of demographic noise in microbial range expansions, ISME Journal,  15.9 (2021) 2643-2654.

A. Kawasaki, B. Braverman, Q. Yu, and V. Vuletic, Two-Color Magneto-Optical Trap with Small Magnetic Field for Ytterbium, Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, 48 (2015) 155302.

A. Frebel, Q. Yu, and H. Jacobson, A new r-process star with low abundances of r-process elements, Nuclear Physics in Astrophysics VI Conference Proceedings, 2013.

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