Anne M. Estes

Assistant Professor


B.S. Zoology and Wildlife (concentration in Marine Biology), Auburn University, Auburn, AL.
M.S. Biological Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL,
Ph.D. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Post-doctoral Fellow, the Institute for Genome Sciences, University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Areas of Expertise

Host-microbe symbioses, microbiome diversity and function,
microbial ecology, bacterial genomics, science communication, science writing


Dr. Anne Estes is an integrative biologist interested in the effect of the host diet and physiology on the genome and evolution of the host’s microbiome. The Estes laboratory examines the effect of diet and antibiotic perturbation of the dung beetle digestive system microbiome, an insect essential to human and environmental health. These include: (a) the interaction between a host’s diet and physiology and the diversity, genome content, and function of its microbiome and (b) the molecular mechanisms facilitating the establishment and maintenance of host-bacterial symbioses, especially during disturbance events such as antibiotic exposure.

Dr. Estes earned her B.S. and MS in Biology at Auburn University. She first began studying insect-microbial interactions during her doctoral work at the University of Arizona, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. After completing her doctoral work, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Towson University where she and her students began working on the dung beetle microbiome.  Dr. Estes learned next generation sequencing, microbiome analysis, and bacterial genomics as a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute for Genome Sciences. Dr. Estes is also passionate about science communication. To that end, she founded and maintains a microbiome science blog – Mostly Microbes – and does guest writing and webinars on the importance of the human microbiome during early childhood.

Peer-Reviewed Research

Estes, A.M., D. J. Hearn, S. Agarwal, E. A. Pierson, J. C. Dunning Hotopp. 2018. Comparative genomics of the Erwinia and Enterobacter olive fly endosymbionts. Scientific Reports DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-33809-w

Estes, A.M., D.J. Hearn, S. Nadendla, E.A. Pierson, J.C. Dunning Hotopp. 2018. Draft Genome of Erwinia dacicola, a dominant endosymbiont of olive flies. Microbiology Resource Announcements. DOI: 10.1128/MRA.01067-18

Estes, A.M., D.J. Hearn S. Nadendla, E.A. Pierson, J.C. Dunning Hotopp. 2018. Draft Genome Sequence of Enterobacter sp. Strain OLF, a colonizer of olive flies. Microbiology Resource Announcements. DOI:10.1128/MRA.01068-18

Estes, A.M., D.F.Segura, A. Jessup, V. Wornoayporn, E.A. Pierson. 2014. Effect of the symbiont Candidatus Erwinia dacicola on mating success of the olive fly Bactrocera oleae (Diptera:Tephritidae). International Journal of Tropical Insect Science. doi:10.1017/S1742758414000174

Estes, A.M., D.J. Hearn, E.C. Snell-Rood, M. Feindler*, K. Feeser*, T. Abebe*, J.C. Dunning Hotopp, A.P. Moczek. 2013. Brood ball-mediated transmission of microbiome members in the dung beetle, Onthophagus taurus (Coleoptera:Scarabaeidae). PLoS One 8(11): e79061. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079061.

Estes, A.M., D.J. Hearn, H.J. Burrack, P. Rempoulakis, E.A. Pierson. 2012. Prevalence of ‘Candidatus Erwinia dacicola’ in wild and laboratory olive fly populations and across developmental stages. Environmental Entomology 41(2):265-274.

Estes, A.M., A. Belcari, A. Economopoulis, A. Jessup, P. Rempoulakis, and D. Nestel. 2012. A basis for the renewal of SIT for the olive fly, Bactrocera oleae (Rossi). Journal of Applied Entomology 136(1-2):1-16.

Estes, A.M., D.J. Hearn, J. Bronstein, E.A. Pierson. 2009. The olive fly endosymbiont, “Candidatus Erwinia dacicola,” switches from an intracellular existence to an extracellular existence during host insect development.  Appl. Environ. Micro. 75(22):7097-7106.

Mateos, M., S.J. Castrezana, A.M.Estes, T.A. Markow, N. Moran. 2006. Heritable endosymbionts of Drosophila. Genetics. 174(1): 253-263.

Estes, A.M., S.C. Kempf, and R. P. Henry. 2003. Localization and quantification of carbonic anhydrase activity in the symbiotic scyphozoan Cassiopea xamachana. Biol. Bull. 204: 278-289.

Moss, A.G., A.M. Estes, L.A. Muellner, and D.D.Morgan. 2001. Protistan epibionts of Mnemiopsis mccraydii (Ctenophora:Tentaculata). Hydrobiologica. 451(1-3):295-304.

Estes, A.M., B.Reynolds, and A.G.Moss. 1997. Trichodina ctenophorii, sp. nov., a novel symbiont of ctenophores of the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico. J. Euk. Micro. 44(5): 420-426.

Estes, A and R.R. Dute. 1994. Valve abnormalities in diatom clones maintained in long-term culture. Diatom Res. 9(2): 249 - 258.

Courses Taught

General Microbiology BIOL 318/518

Genetics BIOL 309