Matthew Gibson


  • Time Zone

  • Organization
    Indiana University Department of Biology

  • Employment Status
    (not set)

  • Role
    Scientist Mentor: I will mentor teams of students online

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    I study evolutionary genetics in wild tomato. Specifically, I am interested in the genetics of adaptations that vary across environmental gradients such as temperature, salinity, latitude, and altitude. These environmental gradients--which appear static--are rapidly changing. By characterizing the genetic architectures of these adaptations, I can help to predict the effects that future climate change will have on biodiveristy and identify genes which may be useful in breeding programs to combat crop loss. My work is very integrative, drawing from quantitative genetics, population genetics, community ecology, and informatics.

  • Profile Question 1
    What lessons have you learned in your career about how science works?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    The biggest lesson I have learned is that, in most cases, things do not go as planned. Being a scientist is less about your academic record and more about your drive to persevere.

    Another big lesson is that you cannot do science by yourself. Except for a few outliers, new discoveries are made by groups of researchers with compatible interests. Learning to work well with others is critical to success in academia.

  • Profile Question 2
    What is your favorite plant? Why?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    My favorite plant is the tomato. Not only is my dissertation centered on studying the genetics of environmental adaptations in wild tomato, but I love to eat them as well! Wild tomato is found in so many different environments--from cold Andes mountain tops to the coasts of the Galapagos Islands--which makes it a great system for studying adaptation. The tomato also has a rich agricultural history and is a staple of many cuisines. A greater understanding of how these species interact with their environments will be critical for protecting future crop production in a rapidly changing climate.

  • Profile Question 3
    Do you have advice for students about preparing for a science career?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    Yes. Talk to as many scientists as you can find. Entering graduate school is usually the first step in starting a science career but identifying your specific research interests and finding a school and advisor are very difficult tasks to take on alone. Scientists work with other scientists and they know who is good to work with and who is not. They can also help you to identify your research interests.

    My second piece of advice is to get involved in science as early as possible. Being a part of a research group provides you with so many professional resources as well as room to grow. Developing your own research project is daunting at first, but once you have a clear plan it can be very rewarding. And once you finish the project, regardless of it worked as planned, you will be proud of yourself for setting and accomplishing your own goals.

  • Help represent the outreach efforts of your societies. Please click all those organizations you are a member of:
    (not set)

  • Capacity: How many teams at a time are you comfortable working with?

Recent Posts

h20melons Matthew Gibson


I agree with Dana that fast growth doesn't always mean that the plant is healthier or better suited to its environment! One thing I would keep in mind is that different types of light may be important at different stages of…

h20melons Matthew Gibson

Hi everyone!

I'm Matt Gibson. I am a PhD student studying the genetics of stress tolerance in wild tomato. Looking forward to working with you all!


Skills & Endorsements

  • No skills have been endorsed yet.