Dr. Britt Koskella
Department of Integrative Biology
3040 Valley Life Sciences Building
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
Office: 5099a VLSB
Email: bkoskella (at) berkeley (dot) edu
Lab phone: (510) 664-7512 

Current position: 

2015- present: Assistant Professor, Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley

Prior positions: 

2012-2015: NERC Independent Research Fellow, University of Exeter

2010-2011:  NERC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Oxford University

2009-2010:  NSF International Research Fellow, University of California, Santa Cruz

2008-2009:  NSF International Research Fellow, Oxford University

2002-2003: Full-time Research Technician, Indiana University (Lively and Delph labs)

2001-2002: Full-time Research Technician, University of Virginia (Antonovics lab)


2008: Indiana University: Ph.D. in Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (minor in Genetics)

– National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow (9/05- 8/08)

– National Institute of Health Training Grant Fellow, Molecular Science (9/04- 8/05)

– NSF IGERT Training Fellow in Evolution, Genomics and Development              (9/03- 8/04)

2001: University of Virginia: B.A. in Biology (minor in Psychology)

Professional Activities (selected)

2019-present: Senior Editor for ISME Journal

2016-present: Associate Editor for Evolutionary Applications

2016-2019: Associate Editor for Evolution

2011-15: Editorial Board member for the Journal of Evolutionary Biology 

2012-15: Research highlights editor for Evolutionary Applications

2012-2015: Member of Athena Swan self-assessment panel, University of Exeter

2012-2014: Researcher development user team leader, Cornwall Campus and member of University-wide steering group.

Manuscript reviewer for: American Naturalist, American Journal of Botany, Annals of Microbiology; Applied and Environmental Microbiology; BMC Evolutionary Biology, Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, Cell, Current Biology, Environmental Microbiology, Evolution, Ecology Letters, Evolutionary Ecology, FEMS Microbiology Letters, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, International Journal for Parasitology, The ISME Journal, PNAS, PLoS Biology, PLoS Pathogens, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Molecular Ecology, Nature Communications, Nature Microbiology, Nature Reviews Genetics, Nature Reviews Microbiology, New Phytologist, Journal of Animal Ecology, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Journal of Parasitology, TREE, Trends in Microbiology.

Honors and awards:

2019         Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW) Visiting Professorship at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO)

2018         American Society for Microbiology (ASM) 2018 Young Investigator Award                  (Recognizes and rewards early career scientists for research excellence and potential in microbiology and infectious disease)

2016         Chosen as one of two ‘Rising Stars’ at University of Toronto’s 11th Annual Ecology, Evolution and Behavior Colloquium (4/16)

2011         Chosen as one of eight early career scientists to present at University of Michigan’s Early Career Scientists Symposium (4/11)

2010         Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE) 2010 Fisher Prize for outstanding Ph.D. dissertation paper in Evolution

Professional organizations:

2005-present         Member of the Society for the Study of Evolution

2007-present         Member of The American Society of Naturalists

2015-present         Member of the American Society for Microbiology

2017-present         Member of the International Society for Microbial Ecology

2017-present         Member of the American Society for Plant Biology

2012-2014             Member of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology

Invited speaker

Workshop on Microbial Ecology and Evolution in the Phyllosphere, Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, UCSB (9/18)

Second Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology (ESEB/SSE), Montpellier, France (8/18)

International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME) Conference, Leipzig, Germany (8/18)

American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Microbe “3-way Symbiosis and Pathogenesis”

session, Atlanta, GA (6/18)

13th Annual DOE Joint Genome Institute Meeting, VEGA symposium: Viral EcoGenomics and

Applications, San Francisco, CA (3/18)

13th Bi-Annual UC Berkeley Synthetic Biology Institute workshop, Berkeley, CA (10/17)

American Society of Naturalists (ASN) Vice Presidential Symposium “The Causes and

Consequences of Evolutionary Conflict” (6/17; invited, but unable to attend due to maternity leave)

American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Microbe, “Host-Microbe Coevolution” plenary

session, New Orleans, LA (6/17; invited, but unable to attend due to maternity leave)

Californian Experimental Evolution Symposium (CEES), UC San Diego (1/17)

Lighting talk at the UC Berkeley Faculty Forum on‘Resilience in the face of Global Change,’

Berkeley, CA (9/16)

American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Microbe “Evolution of Host Defense across the Tree

of Life” session, Boston, MA (6/16)

Food-Microbiome Interaction: Implications for Human Health and Disease, Royal Society,

London (5/16)

University of Toronto’s 11th Annual Ecology, Evolution, and Behaviour Colloquium, speaking as this year’s ‘Rising Star in Evolution’ (4/16)

Wellcome Trust’s “Unlocking the Microbiome” workshop, speaker and co-organizer, London (9/15)

10th International Symposium on Phyllosphere Microbiology, Ascona, Switzerland (7/15)

Microbial Ecology of Environmental Pathogens Workshop, Tbilisi, Georgia (12/14)

Jacques Monod conference on “Infectious diseases as drivers of evolution: the challenges ahead,” Roscoff, France(9/14)

Workshop on “Spatial evolutionary epidemiology” Montpellier, France(6/14)

Phage therapy for control of plant and tree diseases, University of Reading (5/14)

CNRS – Jacques Monod Conference “From emerging to pandemic viruses: interplay between host ecology and viral evolution”Roscoff, France(4/14)

European Meeting of PhD Students in Evolutionary Biology (EMPSEB), Cornwall, UK (9/13)

Society for General Microbiology (SGM) meeting, Sussex University, Brighton, UK (9/13)

Gordon Research Conference on Microbial Population Biology, New Hampshire, USA (7/13)

American Society of Naturalists (ASN)Vice-presidential symposium, Evolution 2013, Snowbird, Utah, USA(6/13)

FWO meeting on Eco-Evolutionary dynamics, Leuven, Belgium(2/13)

Keynote speaker, British Society for Parasitology spring meeting, Glasgow, UK (4/12)

Cologne Spring Meeting 2012: “Molecular Ecology and Evolution”, Germany (2/12)

Keynote speaker, VW Foundation Symposium: Evolutionary Biology, Germany (11/11)

University of Michigan, Early Career Scientist Symposium, Ann Arbor Michigan, USA (4/11)

International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME) Conference, Seattle, Washington, USA(8/10)

Evolution 2010, Portland, Oregon, USA (6/10)

Coevolution: Models and microbial model systems, Liverpool, UK (4/10)

Departmental seminars

Amherst College, Massachusetts (10/07);  University of Sheffield, UK (10/08);  University of Bath, UK (12/08); University of Edinburgh,UK (9/09);  UC Santa Cruz, California (1/10); University of Texas, Arlington, Texas (5/10);  Princeton University, New Jersey (1/11);  University of Liverpool, UK (3/11);  Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania (11/12);  UC Berkeley, California(1/13);. Emory University, Georgia(2/13); Imperial College, London, UK (3/13);  ETH Zurich, Switzerland (3/13);  Trinity College Dublin, Ireland(10/13);  University of York, UK(11/13);  University of Cambridge, UK(11/13)CIRADin Montpellier, France(10/14);  University of Stirling, UK(11/14); University of Tokyo, Japan (12/14);  Hiroshima University, Japan(12/14);  Cardiff University, UK(1/15);  Stanford University, California (10/15);  University of Texas,Arlington, Texas (11/15);  University of Texas,Austin, Texas (11/15);  Reed College,Oregon (1/16);  UCLA, California (3/16);  Indiana University(3/16);  UC Davis, California (5/16);  Montana State University, Montana(9/16);  University of Minnesota, Minnesota(10/16); Uppsala University, Sweden (11/16);  University of San Francisco, California (11/16); Stanford UniversitySchool of Medicine, California (2/17);  San Francisco State, California (10/17);  University of Chicago, Illinois (4/18);  Stanford UniversityDisease Ecology Seminar Series, California(5/18);  UC Irvine, California (5/18); Cornell University, New York (10/18); SUNY Purchase College, New York (2/18), Yale University, Connecticut (3/18).

Conference organization

2019         ESEB 2019, Turku, Finland: Member of scientific planning committee

2019         Co-organizer of working group on “Macroecological Insights into Microbiome Resilience and Function” at the Santa Fe Institute (funded by the Moore Foundation)

2018         ISME17 in Leipzig, Germany: Co-chair and organizer of session “Experimental microbial ecology and evolution” at ISME17

2018         SSE/ESEB Evolution 2018 Montpelier, France: Symposium co-organizer for “Celebrating 10 years of Evolutionary Applications and a look to the future.”

2015         Local organizer for BES symposium on the “Ecology and Evolution of Emerging Plant Pests and Pathogens.”

2011         ESEB 2011: Co-organized symposium: “Coevolution across the parasitism-mutualism continuum.”

2010   ESA 2010: Co-organized oral Session: “Mechanistic Assessments of the Role of Natural Enemies and Negative Frequency Dependence in Facilitating Species Coexistence.”

Courses taught:

2019         Graduate Seminar: Microbiomes in and as Food Webs (IB 290, UC Berkeley, Spring, co-taught with Prof Mary Power)

2016-18   Graduate Seminar: Evolution and Ecology of Disease (IB 290 Section 066, UC Berkeley, Fall and Spring, co-taught with Prof Michael Boots)

2017,19   Coevolution: From Genes to Ecosystems (IB 172, UC Berkeley, Spring): Developed and ran new upper division course focused on reinforcing the principles of ecology and evolution through the study of species interactions.

2017,19   Infectious Disease Dynamics (IB 114, UC Berkeley, Spring): Co-taught (20%) and helped develop new undergraduate course focused on instilling core concepts of disease ecology and evolution with relevance to pre-med students.

2016,18   Freshman Seminar (Integrative Biology 24, Section 2): Reimagining Biology in light of the Microbiome, weekly discussion based on textbook readings.

2018,19   Guest lecture in Integrative Human Biology (IB 77B) on phage therapy.

2018         Guest lecture in Microbial Ecology (PMB 220F) on the microbiome.

2016         Graduate Seminar: Ecology and Evolution of Plant-Microbe Interactions (IB 290 Section 390, UC Berkeley, Spring): Developed and co-lead (50/50) seminar course focused on current understanding of the plant microbiome.

2013, 14  Coevolutionary interactions (University of Exeter): Developed and ran third year course exploring the role of species interactions in shaping diversity

2010         Evolution (BioE 109, University of California, Santa Cruz) Course instructor for summer term; including development of lectures, activities, and reading groups.

2010         Undergraduate Research in Ecology and Evolution (BioE 182,University of California, Santa Cruz) Course instructor for spring term; including lectures, activities, written essays, and one-on-one mentoring.

2009         Evolution and Systematics (Tutor forChristchurch and Merton colleges, University ofOxford): Set up a series of essay-based discussion sections covering a range of topics from across Evolutionary Biology to prepare students for University exams.

2005   Honors Evolution (S318,Indiana University,Associate Instructor): Cooperatively led a laboratory section; developed and implemented laboratory lesson plans and assisted in exam writing and grading.



2019         University of California Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives (MRPI) award: “Exploring a mechanism for viral host range evolution” (Co-PI, MRI-19-601184, 1/1/2019-12/31/2021)

2018         NSF DEB grant: “Ecological and evolutionary impacts of disrupted transmission on host-microbiome associations” (Lead PI, NSF 1754494 8/1/2018-7/30/2021)

2018         NSF Rules of Life EAGER grant: Disease resistance as a product of synergy between host immunity and the microbiome (Lead PI, NSF 1838299 8/15/2018-7/31/2022)

2016         UC Berkeley Collaborative Research Opportunity Award from the VCRs’ office for the Berkeley Microbiome Initiative (Lead PI)

Previously funded:

2013         CI on NERC standard grant: “Testing the ‘Red King’: The maintenance of functional diversity of hosts and parasites.”(NE/K014617/1).

2013         NERC Independent Research Fellowship: “Coevolution in complex communities: exploring the formation, stability and the importance of microbial communities within their hosts.” (NERC NE/K00879X/1).

2012         Researcher-Led Initiatives Award to run “Women in Science and Engineering” workshop at University of Exeter.

2012         CI on Royal Society Research grant: “Understanding the ecology and evolution of microbial diversity within and among oak trees: Exploring correlations among tree demography, health and microbiota.” (RG120522).

2012         Researcher Development Funding for “women in science” workshop.

2010         NERC Junior Research Fellowship: “Spatial patterns of coevolution in multi-species host-parasite interactions.” (NERC R16150).

2008         NSF International Research Grant: “Impact of environmental heterogeneity on coevolution in a tritrophic plant-bacteria-phage interaction.”(NSF-OISE 0754399).

2007   NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant: “Effects of host diversity, migration, and multiple infection on the population structure of a sterilizing trematode, Microphallussp.” (NSF-DEB 0709921, Curtis Lively Co-PI).

Public service and outreach

2019         Purchase College—State University of New York 2019 Darwin Day Public Speaker

2019         Goldwater Scholarship selection committee

2017         Amgen Scholars Faculty Graduate Admissions Panel member and Amgen Scholars Faculty Network Luncheon participant

2016         Presented mock lecture for the Faculty Showcase during CalSO student orientation

2013- 15 Member of Cost action FA1303: Sustainable control of grapevine trunk diseases

2014         Developed and ran module on microbial diversity of plants for the International Student Science Fair at University of Exeter; Public lecture on tree health, Falmouth aquarium

2013         Public lecture and activity on tree diseases for University of Exeter’s Science in the Square.

2012         STEM Ambassador: Volunteering at public outreach events through the STEM program, and working with local schools to develop microbial diversity module.

2011         Organized mock tutorials (Oxford University) for first generation university sixth formers as part of Higher Education Access Programme for Schools (HEAPS).

2005- 07  NSF funded SMIT’N  (Scientific modeling for inquiring teachers network) Biology Content Specialist (Bloomington, Indiana): Worked with K-12 teachers to integrate scientific modeling and inquiry-based learning into the curriculum.

2005- 06  Saturday Science Volunteer Instructor (Bloomington, Indiana): Taught 4thand 5thgrade students life science topics and led inquiry-based lessons and laboratory units.

2003- 05  Wonderlab Children’s Science Museum Volunteer (Bloomington, Indiana): Helped in developing exhibits that are both biologically accurate and exciting, worked and led discussion with visiting school groups and guests.


Please see my Google Scholar Profile for an up-to-date publication list

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