Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Ben M Sadd


Evolutionary and ecological interactions between hosts and their associated microbial communities, their microbiota, and between members of these communities are vital to understand. Microbial communities are widespread across diverse host taxa and hosts receive a variety of well-documented benefits from their microbial communities. Despite the importance of understanding eco-evolutionary dynamics for colonization outcomes and the benefits these communities provide to their hosts, our current knowledge in this area remains incomplete. For example, we do not know the full extent of coevolution and specific relationships between hosts and microbes, and between the microbes themselves, across host taxa. Questions remain about how host taxonomy, ecology and physiology, and other present microbes influence microbial community membership and function, host and microbe evolution, and specificity in colonization of hosts. I present several studies that aim to shed further light on these eco-evolutionary topics utilizing insect pollinators, with a particular focus on bumble bees, and their gut microbial communities.


Imported from Sauers_ilstu_0092E_12428.pdf


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