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Sonia Altizer

UGA Athletic Association Professor of Ecology
Graduate Faculty
University of Georgia
Room 190, Ecology Bldg.
Athens, GA 30602

Office: (706) 542-9251
Lab: (706) 542-3485
Fax: (706) 542-4819
email: saltizer@uga.edu

Lab Web Site →


Ph.D. - University of Minnesota
B.S. - Duke University

Research Interests

  • Ecology of infectious diseases in natural populations
  • Evolution of host resistance and parasite virulence
  • Insect ecology and evolution
  • Animal migrations
  • Anthropogenic change and infectious disease dynamics

Research Projects

Animal migration and infectious disease dynamics; effects of host behavior on parasite transmission; urbanization and infectious disease risk; climate change and infectious diseases; macroecology of infectious diseases; work on natural systems of butterflies, birds, bats and primates

Honors and Awards

2014: UGA Athletic Association Professor of Ecology

2012: Odum School of Ecology Faculty Instructor of the Year Award

2008: Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE)

2008: University of Georgia Award for Teaching Excellence

2008: Odum School of Ecology Award for Teaching Excellence

Professional Affiliations

Board of Reviewing Editors, Science (AAAS)

Editorial Board, Journal of Animal Ecology

Adjunct  Professor, Department of Environmental Studies, Emory University


Selected Publications

Rushmore, J., Caillaud, D., Hall, R.J., Stumpf, R.M., Meyers, L.A. and Altizer, S. 2014. Network-based vaccination improves prospects for disease control in wild chimpanzees. Journal of the Royal Society Interface. 11(97), 20140349


Altizer, S., Ostfeld, R.S., Harvell, C.D., Johnson, P.T.J., and Kutz, S. 2013. Climate change and infectious disease: from evidence to a predictive framework.  Science.  341: 514-519.

Rushmore, J., D. Caillaud, L. Matamba, R. M. Stumpf, S. P. Borgatti, and S. Altizer. 2013. Social network analysis of wild chimpanzees with insights for infectious disease risk. Journal of Animal Ecology, 82: 976-986.

Streicker, D.G., Recuenco, S., Valderrama, W., Gomez-Benavides, J., Vargas, I., Pacheco, V., Condori, R.E, Montgomery, J., Rupprecht, C.E., Rohani, P. and Altizer, S. 2012. Ecological and anthropogenic drivers of rabies exposure in vampire bats: implications for transmission and control. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B. 279(1742):3384-92.

Altizer, S., Han, B and Bartel, R. 2011. Animal migrations and infectious disease risk. Science. 331: 296-302

Altizer, S., and Davis, A.K. 2010. Populations of monarch butterflies with different migratory behaviors show divergence in wing morphology. Evolution. In Press.

DeRoode, JC and Altizer, S. 2010. Host-parasite genetic interactions and virulence-transmission relationships in natural populations of monarch butterflies. Evolution. In press.

Harvell, C.D., Altizer, S., Cattadori, I., Harrington, L. and Weil, E. 2009. Climate change and wildlife diseases: when does the host matter the most? Ecology. 90: 912-920.

De Roode, J.C., Yates, A.J. and Altizer, S. 2008. Virulence-transmission trade-offs and population divergence in virulence in a naturally-occurring butterfly parasite. PNAS. 105: 7489-7494

Bradley, C.A., Gibbs, S.E.J. and Altizer, S. 2008. Urban land use predicts West Nile virus exposure in songbirds. Ecological Applications. 18: 1083–1092

Altizer, S., Nunn, C.L. and Lindenfors, P. 2007. Do threatened hosts have fewer parasites? A comparative study in primates. Journal of Animal Ecology, 76: 304-314.

Nunn, C.L. and Altizer, S. 2006. Infectious Diseases in Primates: Behavior, Ecology and Evolution. Oxford Series in Ecology and Evolution, Oxford University Press.

Altizer, S., Dobson, A., Hosseini, P., Hudson, P., Pascual, M., and Rohani, P. 2006. Seasonality and the dynamics of infectious diseases. Ecology Letters. 9: 467-484.

Bradley, C.A. and Altizer, S. 2005. Parasites hinder monarch butterfly flight: implications for disease spread in migratory hosts. Ecology Letters. 8: 290-300.

Altizer, S., Hochachka, W., and Dhondt, A. 2004. Seasonal dynamics of mycoplasmal conjunctivitis in eastern North American House Finches. Journal of Animal Ecology. 73(2): 309-322.

Altizer, S., Harvell, C.D., and Friedle, E. 2003. Rapid evolutionary dynamics and disease threats to biodiversity. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 18(11): 589-596

Harvell, D., Mitchell, C.E., Ward, J.R., Altizer, S., Dobson, A., Ostfeld, R.S., and Samuels, M.D. 2002. Climate warming and disease risks for terrestrial and marine biota. Science. 296: 2158-2162.

Download Vitae: AltizerCV2014.pdf

Sonia Altizer

As a scientist, I am captivated by the diversity of pathogens that persist in wild animal populations, and my research concerns the ecological and genetic interactions between hosts and parasites. I use a combination of field studies, experiments, models and comparative approaches to understand variation in epidemiological patterns within and among populations.