Patrick Stillson

I’m a Ph.D. candidate in the Ravenscraft Lab at the University of Texas at Arlington. My research is centered on using the bug-Caballeronia symbiosis as a model system to better understand how different strains of environmentally acquired microbial symbionts alter host insect fitness under varying environmental conditions. To address this, I am studying the effects different symbiont strains have on the host by 1) analyzing symbiosis-associated genomic features, 2) investigating how the Caballeronia  symbiont may mediate host thermal performance, and 3) how variation in symbiont gene expression may alter host fitness under environmental stressors.

My research interests lie in 1) how different species/strains of microbial symbionts alter the benefits conferred to insect hosts in pairwise mutualisms, and 2) investigating how insect microbiomes alter host-insect fitness and their ability to spread disease.