Janis pic for RGBE.JPG

The lab primarily researches the evolution and ecology of infectious disease in natural population. My fundamental concern is human infectious disease but, somewhat unusually, I use 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 five years ago, and now focus on research and writing. We have a small but very active lab, and I am fortunate to have funding from NIH and NSF, as well as the Humboldt Foundation. 




NEWS and UPCOMING ACTIVITIES                                                        15 June 2021

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. As a group project, we are analyzing data on primate flowering time (sometimes called the mating season) and disease. I am continuing to interact online with the lab of Dr. Matthias Rillig, Free University, Berlin. 


The following papers have recently been published:


         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


I recently contributed to the following report for the Plant Health Centre, Scotland


M. Elliot, M.,  Toth, I. 2021. A review of gene editing for the benefit of plant health: Policy Report. PHC2021/03. Scotland's Centre of Expertise for Plant Health (PHC). https://www.planthealthcentre.scot/publications





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. doi:10.1111/evo.14264


Bruns, E., Pierce, L., Antonovics, J., Hood, M. 2020. Vector preference and heterogeneity in host sex ratio can affect disease spread in a natural plant populations. Ecology 102: e03246. doi.org/10.1002/ecy.3246


Antonovics, J., and Hayden, K. 2020. Global hosts and global pathogens: a perspective. Sibbaldia: The International Journal of Botanical Horticulture 17: 5-17.


Antonovics, J. 2020. Pathogenic fungi in ferns and angiosperms: a comparative study. American Fern Journal 110: 79-94.


Amoroso, C., and Antonovics, J. 2020. Evolution of behavioral resistance in host-pathogen systems. Biology Letters 16: 20200508.



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,