Patrick Abbot
Vice Chair of Biological Sciences
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

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Phone Number: (615) 936-2550

Email Address:

Abbot, Patrick's picture

Office Address   Mailing Address

7280A MRB III, 465 21st Ave South

VU Station B, Box 35-1634 37235-1634

Research Specialty
Social evolution, insect-microbe interactions, molecular evolutionary genetics.

Research Description
One of the great prospects of genomics and other molecular fields in evolutionary biology is a more comprehensive understanding of the functional basis of within and between species interaction. This optimism that the field is witnessing a period of rapid and novel gains motivates my resesarch. I have a number of "interaction-centric" projects underway, ranging from social evolution in arthropods to the ecological genomics of vector-borne pathogens (described below in detail). These projects are each facets of a unifying theme to understand how interaction traits evolve at various levels of biological organization. My research reflects the multi-disciplinary nature of this endeavor, and I draw on fields ranging from molecular biology to ecology and behavior for both techniques and inspiration. Whenever possible, I study non-model organisms with ascinating natural histories (typically insects and microbial species), many of which have or soon will have various genomic resources at hand. I strongly believe in the value of integrating across disciplines in scientific discovery, and in the numerous benefits of collaboration.

Mikheyev AS, Mueller UG, Abbot P. Cryptic sex and many-to-one colevolution in the fungus-growing ant symbiosis. PNAS, (103), 10702-10706, 2006.

Abbot P, Withgott JH.. Phylogenetic and molecular evidence for allochronic speciation in gall-forming aphids (Pemphigus).. PMID: 15119438 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE], (58(3):), 539-53, 2004.

Abbot, P, Withgott, JH. Phylogenetic and molecular evidence for allochronic speciation in gall-forming aphids (Pemphigus). Evolution Int J Org Evolution, 58(3), 539-53, 2004.

Abbot, P. and Moran, N.A. (2002). Extremely low levels of genetic polymorphism in endosymbionts (Buchnera) of aphids (Pemphigus). Mol. Ecol. 11, 2649-2660.

Aviles, L., Abbot, P., and Cutter, A. (2002). Population ecology, nonlinear dynamics, and social evolution. I. Associations among nonrelatives. Am. Nat. 159, 115-127.

Abbot, P., Withgott, J.H., and Moran, N.A. (2001). Genetic conflict and conditional altruism in social aphid colonies. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 98, 12068-12071.

Abbot, P., and Dill, L.M. (2001). Sexually-transmitted parasites and sexual selection in the milkweed leaf beetle, Labidomera clivicollis. Oikos 92, 91-100.

Thao, M.L., Moran, N.A., Abbot, P., Brennan, E.B., Burckhardt, D.H., and Baumann, P. (2000) Cospeciation of psyllids and their prokaryotic endosymbionts. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 66, 2898-2905.

Postdoctoral Position Available

Postdoctoral Position Details

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