Parker's research focuses on basic problems in the ecology and evolution of the nitrogen fixation symbiosis of legumes and root-nodule bacteria: how new lineages of symbiotic bacteria have originated, how diversity is structured geographically, and why symbiont use varies in different legume clades. Bacterial genes affecting symbiosis are clustered in chromosomal regions ("symbiosis islands"), or on plasmids, that are regularly transferred across lineages. His research focuses on understanding how such horizontal gene transfer events influence symbiotic coevolution.
- PhD, Cornell University
- BA, Western Washington University
- Ecology and evolution of legume-rhizobial symbiosis