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Dr. Erik Hom

Associate Professor
Department of Biology
The University of Mississippi


Office: 401 Shoemaker Hall
Lab: 403 Shoemaker Hall
Phone: 662-915-1731

Website: Darwin’s Daemon

Lab Openings

Research Interests:

Synthetic ecology, evolution of symbiosis and mutualism, fungal-algal associations, evolution of plant-microbe interactions, microbial and chemical ecology of marine polycultures (including fungi and cyanobacteria), microbial ecology of fermented foods, sloth microbiome, genetic basis of natural product production, biological soil crusts, and biological approaches to industrial waste valorization.

Joining the Lab:

If you are interested in pursuing an M.S., Ph.D, or postdoctoral experience with Dr. Hom, please contact him directly via email. Undergraduate students interested in research projects are also encouraged to speak to Dr. Hom directly (do not be shy, he does not bite). Minority students, women, and high school students are especially encouraged to explore research opportunities in the lab. The lab operates with a team mindset of working hard, playing hard, having fun, and doing the best cool science we can.


BISC 333: Microbiology

BISC 336: Genetics

BISC 380: Study USA (Microbes, Symbiosis, and Culture; Science in Practice)

BISC 503: Bioinformatics

BISC 579: Special Topics: Mutualisms

BISC 479/ 677: Special Topics: Chemical Ecology


B.A., 1995, Natural Sciences, Swarthmore College
Ph.D., 2006, Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco
Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Molecular & Cellular Biology and Center for Systems Biology, Harvard University

Select Publications:

  • Venkataram S, Kuo H-Y, Hom EFY, and Kryazhimskiy S (2022), “Early Adaptation in a Microbial Community is Dominated by Mutualism-Enhancing Mutations.”  Under revision at Nature Ecology & Evolution.  bioRxiv 2021.07.07.451547.
  • Hom EFY* and Penn AS (2021), “Symbiosis and the Anthropocene.”  Symbiosis 84:239-270 (*corresponding author).
  • Kaup M^, Trull S, and Hom EFY (2021), “On the Move: Sloths and Their Epibionts as Model Mobile Ecosystems.” Biological Reviews 96: 2638-2660 (^graduate student).
  • Clear MR^ and Hom EFY (2019), “The Evolution of Symbiotic Plant-Microbe Signaling.”
    Annual Plant Reviews Online 2:1-52 (^graduate student).
  • Amend A, Burgaud G, Cunliffe M, Edgcomb VP, Gutiérrez MH, Heitman J, Hom EFY, Ianiri G, Jones AC, Kagami M, Picard KT, Quandt CA, Raghukumar S, Riquelme M, Stajich J, Vargas-Muñiz J, Walker A, Yarden O, and Gladfelter AS “Fungi in the Marine Environment: Open Questions and Unsolved Problems.” mBio 10:e01189-18.
  • Hom EFY* & Murray AW* (2014), “Niche Engineering Demonstrates a Latent Capacity for Fungal-Algal Mutualism.” Science 345:94-98 (*corresponding authors).