evolution, behavior, integrative biology

chasing our interests, wherever they lead

How general is our understanding of social evolution?

How do species interactions shape biological diversification?

How do insects survive on toxic host plants?

How does the timing of birth evolve?

Welcome to the Abbot Lab

My lab works on diverse topics in evolutionary biology, ecology, and behavior. We have worked with insects and plants - on social behavior, symbioses, and chemical ecology. For this we've often taken a molecular ecological approach, which uses tools from molecular biology to investigate fundamental questions about behavior and ecology. We are also interested in symbioses and biological diversification. Finally, we work on human pregnancy, in a collaboration with the Rokas and Capra labs, focusing more on genomics. So my interests and expertise are broad and lie at the intersection of these fields.

If you are interested in hearing more, please reach out. You can read more about the lab here. Have a look at my publications or my Google Scholar page to get a sense of what we have worked on. I have been funded by the National Science Foundation, the March of Dimes, and Vanderbilt.

Thanks for visiting!

Latest News

Fall 2020

  • Happy to hear that our paper on evolution and human health has been accepted at Nature Reviews Genetics.

  • Just got word from Jen Mandel that our Daucus heteroplasmy paper was just accepted in J. of Heredity. Besides being thrilled for the team, I'll just note here that this came out of a USDA grant that Jen & Dave McCauley had. When Dave died in 2015, I took over the grant for him, and with A LOT of help from some amazing people, kept the project going. Dave was a dear friend, my closest colleague, and I miss him to this day. Dave would be so happy to know this work has been published.

Summer 2020

  • Well, this is a new website, so I don't have much news history. I guess the latest news is that I'm starting my 2nd year as a rotator at NSF (IOS-BSC). It's been an amazing experience. So much respect for the folks who work at NSF, and for the PIs and students who are doing science amidst all these challenges.

  • Abbe LaBella (Rokas lab) and Abin Abraham (Capra lab) published a really nice paper that illustrates the diverse ways that selection can act on disease loci. Read about it here and here and here.