Our lab’s focus is on the evolutionary ecology of interactions between microbes and hosts. We are interested in how both beneficial and harmful microbes establish and maintain relationships with their hosts. Such associations are shaped by ecological limitations on host and symbiont range, evolutionary trade-offs for both hosts and microbes, and host immunology. We combine genomic and experimental approaches to study these forces in diverse insect-microbe systems. To address these topics, we utilize the versatility of systems in which both the hosts and their microbial partners and pathogens can be maintained in the laboratory.
The lab is headed by Dr. Nicole Gerardo, Professor in the Department of Biology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Nicole is the Director of Emory’s Graduate Division of the Biological and Biomedical Sciences and is co-leader of the Emory Tibet Science Initiative Research Training Program. Nicole trains graduate students through the Population Biology, Ecology and Evolution (PBEE) Graduate Program. We collaborate with other research labs affiliated with PBEE, including those of Jaap de Roode, Levi Morran, Dave Civitello, Tim Read and Nic Vega.
The Gerardo lab is deeply committed to fostering an environment where each member feels that they are supported and where each member can develop as a researchers, scholar and mentor.