Amanda Gibson

Assistant Professor of Biology
408 PLSB
(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

  • Jiranek, J and Gibson, AK. Diet can alter the cost of resistance to a natural parasite in Caenorhabditis elegans. Ecology and Evolution. 13(2): e9793. 

  • FM Mundim and AK Gibson. A diverse parasite pool can improve effectiveness of biological control constrained by genotype-by-genotype interactions. Evolutionary Applications. 15(12): 2078-2088. 

  • AK Gibson and CR Amoroso. Ecology and evolution of parasite avoidance. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics. 53. 

  • LT Bubrig, AN Janisch, EM Tillet, and AK Gibson. Contrasting parasite-mediated reductions in fitness within vs. between patches of a nematode host. Evolution. 76(7): 1556-1564. 

  • AK Gibson. Genetic diversity and disease: the past, present and future of an old idea. Evolution 76(S1): 20-36. Issue celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Society for the Study of Evolution. 

  • AK Gibson and AE Nguyen. Does genetic diversity protect host populations from parasites? A meta‐analysis across natural and agricultural systems. Evolution Letters. 5(1): 16-32. 

  • DM Hawley, AK Gibson, AK Townsend, ME Craft, and JF Stephenson. Bidirectional interactions between host social behaviour and parasites arise through ecological and evolutionary processes. Parasitology

  • 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 

  • AK Gibson, PS White, MJ Penley, JC de Roode, and LT Morran. An experimental test of parasite adaptation to common vs. rare host genotypes. Biology Letters. 16(7). 

  • AK Gibson, H Baffoe-Bonnie, MJ Penley, J Lin, R Owens, A Khalid, and LT Morran. The evolution of parasite host range in heterogeneous host populations. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 33(6): 773-782 

  • PS White, A Choi, R Pandey, A Menezes, MJ Penley, AK Gibson, JC de Roode, and LT Morran. Host heterogeneity mitigates virulence evolution. Biology Letters. 16(1). 

  • AK Gibson. Asexual parasites and their extraordinary host ranges. Integrative and Comparative Biology 59(6): 1463-1484. 

  • 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. 

Profile Photo credit: Jannatul Pramanik