I am broadly interested in how nutrition can affect behavior via the microbiota-gut-brain axis. As breast milk has historically been the first food encountered by humans and their gut microbes, I am currently studying the potential co-evolution between mother’s milk and microbes of the infant gut. Mother’s milk is a key source of parent-offspring conflict and since mothers both “seed and feed” the infant gut microbiota, milk and microbes may be interacting to affect infant behavior and energy harvest in ways beneficial to the mother. Additionally, infant behavior that increases a mother’s fitness may vary depending on the mother’s ecological context. In the Carmody lab, I study microbes, milk, and metabolites using in vivo mouse models and in vitro cultures.