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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, resource subsidies, and infectious disease risk in wildlife; climate change and infectious diseases; macroecology of infectious diseases; work on natural systems of butterflies, birds, bats and primates

Honors and Awards

2016: Lothar Tresp Outstanding Honors Professor

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

Satterfield, D.A., Altizer, S., Williams, M.K. and Hall, R.J., 2017. Environmental persistence influences infection dynamics for a butterfly pathogen. PloS One, 12(1), p.e0169982.

McKay, A.F., Ezenwa, V.O. and Altizer, S., 2016. Unravelling the costs of flight for immune defenses in the migratory monarch butterfly. Integrative and Comparative Biology, p.icw056.

Streicker, D.G., Winternitz, J.C., Satterfield, D.A., Condori-Condori, R.E., Broos, A., Tello, C., Recuenco, S., Velasco-Villa, A., Altizer, S. and Valderrama, W., 2016. Host-pathogen evolutionary signatures reveal dynamics and future invasions of vampire bat rabies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, p.201606587.

Altizer, S., Hobson, K.A., Davis, A.K., De Roode, J.C. and Wassenaar, L.I., 2015. Do Healthy Monarchs Migrate Farther? Tracking Natal Origins of Parasitized vs. Uninfected Monarch Butterflies Overwintering in Mexico. PloS One, 10(11).

Huang, S., Drake, J. M., Gittleman, J. L. and Altizer, S. 2015. Parasite diversity declines with host evolutionary distinctiveness: a global scale analysis of carnivores. Evolution.69 (3): 621-630

Becker, D., Streicker, D., and Altizer, S. 2015. Linking anthropogenic resources to wildlife-pathogen dynamics: a review and meta-analysis. Ecology Letters. 18.5 (2015): 483-495

Satterfield, D., Maerz, J. and Altizer, S. 2015. Loss of migratory behavior supports high parasite prevalence in a butterfly host. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B. 1801: 20141734.

Zhan,S., Zhang, W., Niitepõld, K., Hsu, J., Fernández Haeger, J., Zalucki, M., Altizer, S., de Roode, J., Reppert, S., and Kronforst, M. 2014. The genetics of monarch butterfly migration and warning coloration. Nature. 514 (7522), 317-321

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

Hall, R.J., Bartel, R. and Altizer, S. 2014. Greater migratory propensity in hosts lowers pathogen transmission and impacts. Journal of Animal Ecology. 83: 1068-1077.

Huang, S., Bininda-Emonds, O.R.P., Stephens, P.R., Gittleman, J.L., and Altizer, S. 2014. Phylogenetically related and ecologically similar carnivores harbor similar parasite assemblages. Journal of Animal Ecology.  83(3), 671-680

Winternitz, J., Michey, S., Garamszegi, L., Huang, S., Stephens, P., and Altizer, S. 2013. Sexual selection explains more functional variation in the mammalian MHC than parasitism. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B. 280(1769), 20131605

Blackwood, J.C., Streicker, D.G., Altizer, S., and Rohani, P. 2013. Resolving the roles of immunity, pathogenesis, and immigration for rabies persistence in vampire bats. PNAS.110(51): 20837-20842

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.

J. Rushmore, 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.

Bartel, B., Oberhauser, K., DeRoode, J. and Altizer, S. 2011. Monarch butterfly migration and parasite transmission in eastern North America.  Ecology. 92, 342-351  **Cover article

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

Hawley, D.M. and Altizer, S. 2011. Disease ecology meets ecological immunology: Understanding the links between organismal immunity and infection dynamics in natural populations. Functional Ecology, 25: 48-60

Altizer, S., and Davis, A.K. 2010.  Populations of monarch butterflies with different migratory behaviors show divergence in wing morphology. Evolution.  64:1018-1028.   Cover article

DeRoode, J.C. and Altizer, S. 2010. Host-parasite genetic interactions and virulence-transmission relationships in natural populations of monarch butterflies. Evolution. 64:502-514.

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.

Bradley, C.A. and Altizer, S. 2007. Urbanization and the ecology of wildlife diseases. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 22(2): 95-102.

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

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.

Download Vitae: Altizer_CV_2017.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.