Tobin J Hammer

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Butterflies are charismatic insects that have long been a focus of biological research. They are also habitats for microorganisms, yet these microbial symbionts are little-studied, despite their likely importance to butterfly ecology and evolution. In particular, the diversity and composition of the microbial communities inhabiting adult butterflies remain(More)
The majority of insect species consume plants, many of which produce chemical toxins that defend their tissues from attack. How then are herbivorous insects able to develop on a potentially poisonous diet? While numerous studies have focused on the biochemical counter-adaptations to plant toxins rooted in the insect genome, a separate body of research has(More)
UNLABELLED Much of the morbidity and mortality associated with influenza virus respiratory infection is due to bacterial coinfection with pathogens that colonize the upper respiratory tract such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Streptococcus pneumoniae. A major component of the immune response to influenza virus is the production of(More)
Antibiotics are routinely used to improve livestock health and growth. However, this practice may have unintended environmental impacts mediated by interactions among the wide range of micro- and macroorganisms found in agroecosystems. For example, antibiotics may alter microbial emissions of greenhouse gases by affecting livestock gut microbiota.(More)
Research on insect microbiota has greatly expanded over the past decade, along with a growing appreciation of the microbial contributions to insect ecology and evolution. Many of these studies use DNA sequencing to characterize the diversity and composition of insect-associated microbial communities. The choice of strategies used for specimen collection,(More)
Many animals are inhabited by microbial symbionts that influence their hosts' development, physiology, ecological interactions, and evolutionary diversification. However, firm evidence for the existence and functional importance of resident microbiomes in larval Lepidoptera (caterpillars) is lacking, despite the fact that these insects are enormously(More)
Our planet is changing rapidly, and responding to the ensuing environmental challenges will require an informed citizenry that can understand the inherent complexity of ecological systems. However, microorganisms are usually neglected in the narratives that we use to understand nature. Here, we advocate for the inclusion of microbial ecology across(More)
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