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Patrick Abbot, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Broadly considered, I am trained as an evolutionary biologist, and have run a productive lab with projects that include plant-insect interactions, microbial symbioses, social behavior, and the genomics of pregnancy. In my research, I use approaches derived from genomics to ecology to understand the evolution of cooperative and symbiotic interactions within and between species. I have been funded by NSF (both DEB and IOS, and DBI as a postdoc), and by the March of Dimes. In the early days at Vanderbilt, I split my time between research focused on plant-insect interactions, insect symbioses and social behavior, but thanks to excellent students and colleagues, I added work on the genomics of pre-term birth in humans to my research program. My students and I have published broadly, I have given numerous talks and seminars, and disseminated my research to a broad audience including scientific and non-scientific audiences.

I have been devoted to our teaching mission at Vanderbilt, and was fortunate to be recognized with awards for undergraduate teaching and graduate mentorship of both MSc and PhD students. I have taught an undergraduate course in introductory biology since 2007, as well as courses in both ecology and behavior, a graduate course in molecular and cell biology, and courses in undergraduate research. I have mentored graduate students, postdocs and numerous undergraduates over the years, and many were co-authors on peer-reviewed publications. I have served in a number of leadership roles, including Vice-Chair of Biological Sciences, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Chair of the Departmental Curriculum Committee, Graduate Program Coordinator, and Chair of the Faculty Council in the College of Arts and Sciences. I have a strong commitment to promoting and fostering inclusivity and diversity in the sciences.