Infectious diseases are more prevalent in some places, some times, and some host lineages than in others. What are the evolutionary and ecological forces that explain this variation? My research program takes on this big question by testing the contribution of specific factors, like parasite adaptation, host resistance, migration, and genetic diversity, to variation in disease prevalence and transmission. I’m also interested in other big problems in the evolutionary ecology of disease, including 1) the maintenance of sex by coevolving parasites and 2) the evolution of parasite virulence. I tackle these problems using a combination of long-term field data, experimental manipulation of field populations, and experimental evolution. In most of my work, I now use Caenorhabditis nematodes (including C. elegans) and their natural parasites, which allow for targeted tests of foundational theory.
For more about my work, see my current website.
- AK Gibson, LF Delph, and CM Lively. The two-fold cost of sex: experimental evidence from a natural system. Evolution Letters 1(1): 6-15. link and overview by Evol Lett.
- AK Gibson, JY Xu, and CM Lively. 2016. Within-population covariation between sexual reproduction and susceptibility to local parasites. Evolution 70(9): 2049-2060. link
- AK Gibson, J Jokela, and CM Lively. 2016. Fine-scale spatial covariation between infection prevalence and susceptibility in a natural population. The American Naturalist 188(1): 1-14. link and overview by Am Nat.
- AK Gibson, KS Stoy, IA Gelarden, MJ Penley, CM Lively, and LT Morran. 2015. The evolution of reduced antagonism – a role for host-parasite coevolution. Evolution 69(11): 2820-2830. link
- AK Gibson, DM Drown and CM Lively. 2015. The Red Queen’s Race: an experimental card game to teach coevolution. Evolution: Education and Outreach 8: 10. link and more here
- AK Gibson and JA Fuentes. 2015. A phylogenetic test of the Red Queen Hypothesis: outcrossing and parasitism in the Nematode phylum. Evolution 69(2): 530-540. link