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Janis pic for RGBE.JPG

My research has focused on the evolution and ecology of infectious disease in natural population. My fundamental concern is human infectious disease but, somewhat unusually, I have used plants as tractable, accessible models with which to investigate the transmission and dynamics of pathogens in nature. However, we have researched diseases in organisms as diverse as bumble bees, mice, and primates, and include human data sets in our analyses. I also have an interest in the history of evolutionary biology and germ theory, and self-sustaining ecological systems. I retired from teaching eight years ago, and am not taking on graduate students or new post-docs. I now focus on research and writing, with a current interest in clade age and pathogen occurrence in ferns. I have been fortunate to have funding from NIH, NSF, and the Humboldt Foundation, and now collaborate in research with the labs of Mandy Gibson, here at University of Virginia, and Emme Bruns (University of Maryland), Michael Hood (Amherst College), Mike Boots (University of California, Berkeley) and Matthias Rillig (Free University, Berlin).  

                                                                                                      JANIS ANTONOVICS 


NEWS and UPCOMING ACTIVITIES                                                        9 January 2023

My lab and the labs of Dr. Emme Bruns (University of Maryland), and Dr. Michael Hood (Amherst College) now meet every two weeks by Zoom. I am continuing to interact online with the lab of Dr. Matthias Rillig, Free University, Berlin. 


Papers are about to be or recently published:


         Antonovics, J., Amoroso, C. R., Bruns, E. L., and Hood, M. E. 2023. Host density shapes the relative                               contribution of vector-based and aerial transmission of a pathogenic fungus. Ecology (in press).


         Uricchio, L. H., Bruns, E. L., Hood, M. E., Boots, M., Antonovics, J. 2023. Multimodal disease transmission as a           limiting factor for the spatial extent of a host plant. Ecology (e3956). Link


I participated in two recent field trips with the Scottish Fern Group featured in the 2021 issue of The Bulletin of the British Pteridological Society 9 (2) pp.110-112. (with photographs).

Caroline Amoroso recently gave a talk on the evolution of behavioral resistance at the meeting of American Society of Naturalist in Asilomar, California (January 2023).




         Bruns, E. B., Hood, M. E., Antonovics, J., Ballister, I. H. Troy, S. E., Cho, J.-H.. 2022. Can disease resistance                 evolve independently at different ages? Genetic variation in age-dependent resistance to disease in three wild                   plant species. Journal of Ecology 110:2046-2061.       


         Antonovics, J., Gibby, M., and Hood, M. E. 2021. John Leigh, Lydia Becker and their shared botanical interests.             Archives of Natural History 48: 62-76.        


         Rillig, M.C., Antonovics, J. Mansour, I. 2021. Microbial self-recycling and biospherics. Commentary.                               Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 118: e2113148118


Bruns, E. L., Antonovics, J., Hood, M.E. 2021. From generalist to specialists: variation in host range and                performance of anther-smut pathogens on Dianthus. Evolution 75: 2494-2508.


Lerner, N., Luizzi, V., Antonovics, J., Bruns, E., and Hood, M. E. 2021. Resistance correlations influence infection by foreign pathogens. American Naturalist 198: 206-218.

Our 2018 research group, with family and friends, at our usual location, Rifugio Garelli, in the Italian Alps -  flanked by healthy and diseased flowers of alpine carnation,

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