Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Storfer Lab Host-pathogen coevolution

Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases

As recognized by the National Research Council, two “grand challenges in environmental sciences” for the 21st century are 1) understanding the causes and consequences of the Earth’s diminishing biodiversity and 2) understanding the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases. My research is at the interface of these two challenges. Amphibians and Tasmanian devils are marquee examples of global biodiversity loss, and infectious diseases are a leading cause of their declines. My lab employs tools in evolutionary and landscape genomics to understand coevolution of ranaviruses and tiger salamanders, as well as Tasmanian devils and their transmissible cancer.

Representative Publications

Kozakiewicz, C. P., A.K. Fraik, A.H. Patton, M. Ruiz-Aravena, D. Hamilton, R. Hamede, H. McCallum, P.A. Hohenlohe, M. Margres, M. Jones and A. Storfer. 2021.  Spatial variation in gene expression of Tasmanian devil facial tumors despite minimal host transcriptomic response to infection. BMC Genomics 22: 693;

Patton, A.H., M. Lawrance, M.J. Margres, C.P. Kozakiewicz, R. Hamede, M. Ruiz-Aravena, D.G. Hamilton, S. Comte, L. Ricci, R. Taylor, T. Stadler, A. Leaché, H. McCallum, M. Jones, P.A. Hohenlohe and A. Storfer.  2020. A transmissible cancer shifts from emergence to endemism in Tasmanian devils. Science 370: eabb9772. DOI: 10.1126/science.abb9772

Margres, M., M. Ruiz-Aravena, R. Hamede, K. Chawla, A. Patton, M.F. Lawrance, A.K. Fraik, A.R. Stahlke, B.W. Davis, E.A. Ostrander, M.E. Jones, H.I. McCallum, P.J. Paddison, P.A. Hohenlohe, D. Hockenbery and A. Storfer. 2020. Spontaneous tumor regression in Tasmanian devils associated with RASL11A activation. Genetics 215: 1143-1152. ^highlighted article; NSF discovery files highlight

Fraik, A.K., M. Margres, B. Epstein, S. Barbosa, M. Jones, S. Hendricks, B. Schönfeld, A. Stahlke, A. Veillet, R. Hamede, H. I. McCallum, E. Lopez-Contreras, S. J. Kallinen, P.A. Hohenlohe, J. L. Kelley and A. Storfer. 2020. Disease swamps molecular signatures of genetic-environmental associations to abiotic factors in Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) populations. Evolution 74: 1392-1408. ^cover article

Epstein, B., M Jones, R Hamede, S Hendricks, H McCallum, EP Murchison, B Schönfeld, C Wiench, P Hohenlohe and A Storfer. 2016. Rapid evolutionary response to a transmissible cancer. Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5084 ^ISI Highly Cited *covered by NY Times, Washington Post, Science News, Nature News, Discover, BBC, etc.

Storfer, A., M. E. Alfaro, B. J. Ridenhour, J. K. Jancovich, S. G. Mech†, M. J. Parris and J. P. Collins., 2007.  Phylogenetic concordance analysis shows an emerging pathogen is novel and endemic. Ecology Letters. 10:1075-1083.