The ecological and evolutionary implications of host-microbiome interactions
Bacteria play a crucial role in the physiology, ecology, and evolution of animals even if they are not transmitted or acquired across generations and the composition of affiliated microbial communities can impact host performance and relative fitness. Do microbiomes affect the evolutionary trajectories of host populations? Do host genotypes shape microbiome composition? How do these interactions influence the phenotypes, population dynamics, and evolutionary trajectories of host populations?
Host-microbiome interactions are a particularly interesting case of eco-evolutionary dynamics. We know that changes in the community composition microbiomes shapes host phenotypes. Our recent work that microbiome composition shapes host evolution. I am continuing to investigate the role of host-microbiome interactions in shaping host phenotypes, adaptation, speciation.