Kerry M. Oliver
Assistant Professor of Entomology
Address: Department of Entomology
Phone: (706) 542-2311
Aphidius attacking pea aphids. Photograph by Alex Wild.
My research focuses on symbiosis, with a particular interest in the evolutionary and ecological consequences of associations between insects and heritable microorganisms. Inherited microbes, those that are transmitted vertically from mother to offspring, can spread within host populations by providing benefits to hosts. Defense against natural enemies is one of the most exciting, and potentially widespread, beneficial effects recently discovered in insect-symbiont associations. In this emerging area of inquiry there is much to discover about the dynamics and distributions of defensive symbionts in natural populations, the genetic features of defensive symbionts, including molecular mechanisms of protection, and the impacts these symbionts exert on populations and communities. This lab uses a multidisciplinary approach, incorporating field studies, experimental laboratory assays and microscopy, as well as molecular, genomic and proteomic tools to investigate symbiont-based defense across scales ranging from molecules to populations and communities.
Oliver Lab Fall 2010
Nasreen Bano, PhD, Research Professional
ENTO 4000/6000. General Entomology.
Functional anatomy and physiology, behavior, ecology, insects as vectors of pathogens, chemical and biological control of pests.
ENTO 8500. Insect Ecology.
Ecology of insects in natural and managed ecosystems.
Oliver, K. M., Degnan, P. H., Burke, G. R. & Moran, N. A. 2010. Facultative symbionts of aphids and the horizontal transfer of ecologically important traits. Ann. Review of Entomology 55, 247–266.
Oliver, K. M., Degnan, P. H., Hunter, M.S. & Moran, N. A. 2009. Bacteriophages encode factors required for protection in a symbiotic mutualism. Science 325, 992-994.
Oliver, K. M. & Moran, N. A. 2009. Defensive symbionts in aphids and other insects in White, J. F. & Torres, M. S. Defensive mutualism in microbial symbiosis. London: Taylor & Francis.
Oliver, K. M., Campos, J., Moran, N. A. & Hunter, M. S. 2008. Population dynamics of defensive symbionts in aphids. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences 275, 293-299.
Oliver, K. M., Moran, N. A. & Hunter, M. S. 2006. Costs and benefits of a superinfection of facultative symbionts in aphids. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences 273, 1273-1280.
Oliver, K. M., Moran, N. A. & Hunter, M. S. 2005. Variation in resistance to parasitism in aphids is due to symbionts not host genotype. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 102, 12795-12800.
Oliver, K. M., Russell, J. A., Moran, N. A. & Hunter, M. S. 2003. Facultative bacterial symbionts in aphids confer resistance to parasitic wasps. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 100, 1803-1807.