Amanda Gibson

Assistant Professor of Biology
047 Gilmer Hall
(434) 243-2626


  • B.A., Amherst College, 2008
  • Ph.D., Indiana University, 2016
  • NIH FIRST postdoctoral fellow, Emory University, 2016-2018

Research Interests

Do parasites drive evolutionary change in the wild? What strategies are hosts most likely to evolve? And how do parasites adapt to these diverse, ever-changing host populations? Research in the lab takes on these questions by synthesizing data from field observations and experimental manipulations, with guidance from theoretical models and experimental evolution. I predominantly work with nematodes, which get all sorts of neat parasites and have extraordinary experimental power. Ongoing projects investigate the genetic and environmental drivers of disease spread, selection by parasites on host dispersal and life history, evolutionary interference between defense strategies, and coevolution in wild and agricultural settings.

Representative Publications

  • AK Gibson and CR Amoroso. 2022. Ecology and evolution of parasite avoidance. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics. 53. in press
  • LT Bubrig, AN Janisch, EM Tillet*, and AK Gibson. 2022. Contrasting parasite-mediated reductions in fitness within vs. between patches of a nematode host. Evolution. 76(7): 1556-1564. open access.
  • AK Gibson and AE Nguye. 2021. Does genetic diversity protect host populations from parasites? A meta‐analysis across natural and agricultural systems. Evolution Letters. 5(1): 16-32. open access
  • KS Stoy, AK Gibson, NM Gerardo, and LT Morran. A need to consider the evolutionary genetics of host–symbiont mutualisms. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 33(12): 1656-1668 link
  • C Liu**, AK Gibson**, P Timper, LT Morran, and RS Tubbs. Rapid change in host specificity in a field population of the biological control organism Pasteuria penetransEvolutionary Applications 12(4): 744-756. open access **authors contributed equally
  • AK Gibson, D Vergara, LF Delph, and CM Lively. 2018. Periodic, parasite-mediated selection for and against sex. American Naturalist 192(5): 537-551.
  • AK Gibson and LT Morran. 2017. A model for evolutionary ecology of disease: the case for Caenorhabditis nematodes and their natural parasites. Journal of Nematology 49(4): 357-372. 
  • AK Gibson, LF Delph, and CM Lively. 2017. The two-fold cost of sex: experimental evidence from a natural system. Evolution Letters 1(1): 6-15.
  • AK GibsonJY Xu*, and CM Lively. Within-population covariation between sexual reproduction and susceptibility to local parasites. Evolution 70(9): 2049-2060. link
  • AK Gibson, DM Drown and CM Lively. The Red Queen’s Race: an experimental card game to teach coevolution. Evolution: Education and Outreach 8: 10
  • AK Gibson and JA Fuentes. A phylogenetic test of the Red Queen Hypothesis: outcrossing and parasitism in the Nematode phylum. Evolution 69(2): 530-540. link
  • AK Gibson, E Petit, J Mena-Ali, B Oxelman, and ME Hood. 2013. Life-history strategy defends against disease and may select against physiological resistance. Ecology & Evolution: 1741-1750