Photo credits:
Danish Saroee

Jessica Abbott

Natural Sciences Fellow, SCAS.
Senior University Lecturer in Eukaryote Evolutionary Genetics, Lund University

Jessica Abbott was born and raised in Canada, but came to Sweden as an exchange student in
1999. She subsequently completed a Master’s degree and later a PhD at Lund University in 2006.
After this, she spent time as a postdoc at Queen’s University at Kingston, Uppsala University,
and Universität Tübingen. Since 2012, she has been working at the Biology Department at Lund
University, first as an independent researcher funded by the Swedish Research Council (2012–2016),
and later as a senior university lecturer (2016–present).

Abbott’s research focuses on the evolution of sex differences and sex chromosomes, and in 2015,
she was awarded an ERC Starting Grant for her work on experimental evolution in fruit flies and
flatworms. Her research has been published in a number of high-profile life science journals, including
, Trends in Genetics, Trends in Ecology and Evolution and Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
She is an editor at Proceedings B and Oikos, and has been secretary-treasurer of the Swedish Oikos
Society for ecologists since 2015. She is also very active in science communication, and has been a
panel member on the popular Swedish TV show Fråga Lund since 2016.

While at SCAS, Abbott will be working on a popular science book about what the evolution of life on
earth might be able to tell us about life on other planets. Is the evolution of complexity and intelligence
inevitable? Which evolutionary processes are likely to be unique to our planet, and which ones are
universal? The book is being written in collaboration with science journalist and author Torill Kornfeldt.

This information is accurate as of the academic year 2021-22.