Douglas Kilpatrick Abbot, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

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Faculty Appointments
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, ArizonaM.S., Behavioral Ecology, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, CanadaB.A., Zoology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia
Office Address
VU Station B, Box 35-1634
Nashville, TN 37235-1634
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.
Research Keywords
Social evolution, insect-microbe interactions, molecular evolutionary genetics.
Mikheyev AS, Mueller UG, Abbot P. Cryptic sex and many-to-one colevolution in the fungus-growing ant symbiosis. PNAS. 2006; ((103)): 10702-6.

Abbot P, Withgott JH. Phylogenetic and molecular evidence for allochronic speciation in gall-forming aphids (Pemphigus). Evolution. 2004 Mar; 58(3): 539-53. PMID: 15119438, ISSN: 0014-3820.

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