What we do
All plants and animals interact with microorganisms that secretly influence their lives. In some cases, microbes provide their host with benefits and over evolutionary time these relationships can stabilise to become symbioses. We study how symbioses with microbes evolve, and the diverse ways in which they influence their hosts’ ecology and evolution.
A central theme to our research is to understand symbiotic interactions from the molecular level to the macro-evolutionary scale using invertebrates and their microbes as a study system. We combine theoretical predictions from ecology and evolution with large-scale empirical tests, using state of the art molecular and experimental techniques – including evolutionary genetics, ‘omics, electron microscopy, phylogenetic comparative methods, and laboratory in vivo experiments.