top of page
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                                                        28 September 2023

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


Papers to be published:

    Antonovics, J. 2023. Fern family clade age and fungal pathogen diversity. American Fern Journal (in press)


    Hulse, S., Antonovics, J., Hood, M. H., and Bruns, E. L. 2023. Specific resistance prevents the evolution of general        resistance and facilitates disease emergence. Evolution Letters (in revision).


Talks and participation:  

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


   I helped Michael Hood and Emme Bruns with field work in Italy in May and July, and I participated in a field trip           with the Scottish Fern Group to Dollar Glen and Rumbling Bridge gorge in Scotland on August 24th 1923.


   Caroline Amoroso and I both participated in the 50th Anniversary of the Southeastern Population Ecology and                 Evolutionary Genetics Group (SEPEEG) on 22nd-24th September 2023 held at Mountain Lake Biologial Station,           Giles County, Virginia. Caroline spoke on "Variation in parasite avoidance behavior in C. elegans" and I spoke on          "Thirty five years of anther-smut disease at Mountain Lake: the ups and downs of a long term study". In addition I          gave some opening remarks on "Our 50th Anniversary: Sadness and Celebration" to remember the contributions of Dr.    Jim Murray (1930-2023) in founding this group, and to recall his huge contributions to the Mountian Lake, to                  evolutionary biology, and to the conservation of natural areas in Virginia. 




         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 104: e3970.


          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 104: e3956.


         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.      



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,

bottom of page