Texas Tech University

Caleb D. Phillips

Assistant Professor
Curator of Genetic Resources Collection, Natural Science Research Laboratory

Email: caleb.phillips@ttu.edu

Phone: 806-834-8181


  • Ph.D. in Genetics- 2009, Purdue University, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources
  • M.S. in Biology- 2006, Tarleton State University, Department of Biological Sciences
  • B.S. in Biology- 2003, Tarleton State University, Department of Biological Sciences

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Research Interests

The Phillips laboratory studies metagenomic and genomic evolution underlying mammalian function.

Our work in metagenomics is focused on understanding the determinants of community assembly in microbiomes. This includes defining how lineage interactions and environment influence community structure, as well as how observed patterns of microbiome community variation relates to functional differences.  We are developing new analytical approaches and software to this end (see our ICB paper, below).  Our work on bat microbiomes addresses questions about how pregnancy or habitat quality influence microbiome structure.  We also actively study chronic wound microbiomes and are currently developing projects that quantify variation in wound infection on a National scale, and how patient genetics influences differences in infection profiles.  This work is in collaboration with the Southwest Regional Wound Care Center and involves the development of the Wolcott Wound Care Research Collection at The Museum of TTU.

Our work in genomics stems from our interest in understanding how evolution of gene expression explains functional differences across lineages.  We are particularly interested in post-transcriptional regulation during craniofacial development.  We are currently working in the mouse model to define regulatory targets of the RNA-binding protein, Musashi-2, a protein we hypothesize to be an important regulator of craniofacial development.

We additionally have interest in mammalian field biology and conservation.  Through a current project we are investigating the continued existence and evolutionary origin of Sigmodon fulviventer dalquesti, a rare Chihuahuan Desert Ecoregion endemic rodent.

Selected Publications

  • Phillips CD, Hanson JD, Wilkinson J, Koenig L, Rees E, Webala P, Kingston T (2017) Microbiome Structural and Functional Interactions across Host Dietary Niche Space. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 57(4):743-755.
  • Tipton CD, Mathew ME, Wolcott RA, Wolcott RD, Kingston T, Phillips CD (2017) Temporal dynamics of relative abundances and bacterial succession in chronic wound communities. Wound Repair and Regeneration, DOI: 10.1111/wrr.12555.
  • Wolcott RD, Hanson JD, Rees E, Koenig L, Phillips CD, Wolcott R, Cox SB, White J (2016) Analysis of the Chronic Wound Microbiota of 2963 Patients by 16S rDNA Pyrosequencing. Wound Repair and Regeneration, DOI:10.1111/wrr.12370.
  • Phillips CD, RJ Baker (2015) Secretory gene recruitments in vampire bat salivary adaptation and potential convergences with sanguivorous leeches. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, DOI:10.3389/fevo.2015.00122
  • Phillips CD, B Butler, JW Fondon, H Mantilla-Meluk, RJ Baker (2013) Contrasting evolutionary dynamics of the developmental regulator PAX9, among bats, with evidence for a novel post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism. PLoS One, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057649
  • Phillips CD, G Phelan, SE Dowd, MM McDONOUGH, AW Ferguson, JD Hanson, L Siles, N Ordóñez-Gerza, M San Francisco, RJ Baker (2012) Microbiome analysis among bats describes influences of host phylogeny, life history, physiology and geography. Molecular Ecology, 21(11):2617-2627

Department of Biological Sciences

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    Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, Box 43131 Lubbock, TX 79409
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