Gavin Conant

Assoc Professor


Bioinformatics and Genetics 

Research Interests


Our primary research interest is in understanding the origins of novel features in evolution and ecosystems, in particular how new genetic features appear and are altered by natural selection. One of our major area of interest is in how gene and genome duplications alter cellular networks and hence phenotypes. We also used metagenomic techniques to study how microbial communities can create complex ecosystems through simple assembly rules.

Selected Publications



Wolff, S. M., M. J. Ellison, Y. Hao, R. R. Cockrum, K. J. Austin, M. Baraboo, K. Burch, H. J. Lee, T. Maurer, R. Patil, A. Ravelo, T. M. Tasis, H. Truong, W. R. Lamberson, K. M. Cammack and G. C. Conant. (2017) Diet shifts provoke complex and variable changes in the metabolic networks of the ruminal microbiome, Microbiome 5:60. [Reprint][Full-text link]


Pires, J. C. and G. C. Conant. (2016) Robust yet fragile: Expression noise, protein misfolding, and gene dosage in the evolution of genomes, Annual Review of Genetics 50: 113-131. [Email for reprint]

J. D. Washburn, K. A. Bird, G. C. Conant and J. C. Pires. (2016) Convergent evolution and the origin of complex phenotypes in the age of systems biology, International Journal of Plant Sciences 177:4. [Email for reprint]

Mordhorst, B. R., M. L. Wilson and G. C. Conant. (2016) Some assembly required: evolutionary and systems perspectives on the mammalian reproductive system, Cell and Tissue Research 363: 267-278. [Email for reprint]


Scienski, K., J. C. Fay, and G. C. Conant. (2015) Patterns of gene conversion in duplicated yeast histones suggests strong selection on a co-adapted macromolecular complex, Genome Biology and Evolution, 7: 3249-3258. [Reprint]

Taxis, T. M., S. Wolff, S. J. Gregg1, N. O. Minton, C. Zhang, J. Dai, R. D. Schnabel, J. F. Taylor, M. S. Kerley, J. C. Pires, W. R. Lamberson and G. C. Conant. (2015) The players may change but the game remains: network analyses of ruminal microbiomes suggest taxonomic differences mask functional similarity, Nucleic Acids Research, 43: 9600-9612. [Reprint]

Edger, P. P., H. M. Heidel-Fischer, M. Bekaert, J. Rota, G. Glöckner, A. E. Platts, D. G. Heckel, J. P. Der, E. K. Wafula, M. Tang, J. A. Hofberger, A. Smithson, J. C. Hall, M. Blanchette, T. E. Bureau, S. I. Wright, M. E. Schranz, M. S. Barker, G. C. Conant, N. Wahlberg, H. Vogel, J. C. Pires and C. W. Wheat. (2015) The butterfly plant arms-race escalated by gene and genome duplications, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A., 112: 8362-8366.

Gavin Conant