Understanding the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases in mammalian mating and social systems

Principal Investigators:

Sonia Altizer, and Charles L. Nunn

Variation in animal mating and social behavior has important consequences for the origin and persistence of infectious diseases. These behavioral processes determine local host density and govern the type and frequency of contacts that occur within and among groups of animals. Ecologists have made great progress in understanding infectious disease dynamics operating on ecological time scales, yet next to nothing is known about patterns of disease at broad evolutionary scales. Given the increasing availability of information on socio-ecological parameters... more

Participants and Meetings


Working Group Participants
ActivityDatesFurther Information
Working Group22nd—25th February 2001Participant List  
Working Group6th—10th September 2001Participant List  
Working Group7th—13th June 2002Participant List  

Participant Contact Information

Sonia Altizersaltizer@uga.eduPrinceton University
Janis Antonovicsja8n@virginia.eduUniversity of Virginia
Ottar N. Bjornstadonb1@psu.eduPennsylvania State University
Andrew A. Cunninghamandrew.cunningham@ioz.ac.ukZoological Society of London
Andrew P. Dobsondobber@princeton.eduPrinceton University
John L. Gittlemanecohead@uga.eduUniversity of Virginia
Charles L. Nunncnunn@oeb.harvard.eduUniversity of Virginia
Amy B. Pedersenabp@uga.eduUniversity of Virginia
Peter H. Thrallpeter.thrall@csiro.auCommonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
Kate E. Joneskate.jones@ioz.ac.ukUniversity of Virginia
Bobbi S. Lowbobbilow@umich.eduUniversity of Michigan
Mary Possmposs@selway.umt.eduUniversity of Montana
Carl Simoncpsimon@umich.eduUniversity of Michigan
Vanessa Ezenwavezenwa@usgs.govPrinceton University
Patrik LindenforsPatrik.Lindenfors@zoologi.su.seStockholm University
Juliet Pulliampulliam@princeton.eduPrinceton University

Products: Publications, Reports, Datasets, Presentations, Visualizations

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Altizer, Sonia; Nunn, Charles L.; Thrall, Peter H.; Gittleman, John L.; Antonovics, Janis; Cunningham, Andrew A.; Dobson, Andrew P.; Ezenwa, Vanessa; Jones, Kate E.; Pedersen, Amy B.; Poss, Mary; Pulliam, Juliet. 2003. Social organization and parasite risk in mammals: Integrating theory and empirical studies. Annual Review of Ecology Evolution and Systematics. Vol: 34. Pages 517-547. (Abstract)
Data Set Altizer, Sonia; Nunn, Charles L.; Cunningham, Andrew A.; Ezenwa, Vanessa; Lindenfors, Patrik; Poss, Mary; Antonovics, Janis; Dobson, Andrew P.; Gittleman, John L.; Jones, Kate E.; Pedersen, Amy B.; Thrall, Peter H. 2005. The global mammal parasite database. (Online version)
Journal Article Altizer, Sonia; Nunn, Charles L.; Lindenfors, Patrik. 2007. Do threatened hosts have fewer parasites? A comparative study in primates. Journal of Animal Ecology. Vol: 76. Pages 304–314.
Journal Article Lindenfors, Patrik; Nunn, Charles L.; Jones, Kate E.; Cunningham, Andrew A.; Sechrest, Wes; Gittleman, John L. 2007. Parasite species richness in carnivors: Effects of host body mass, latitude, geographical range and population density. Global Ecology and Biogeography. Vol: 16(4). Pages 496-509.
Journal Article Nunn, Charles L. 2002. Spleen size, disease risk and sexual selection: A comparative study in primates. Evolutionary Ecology Research. Vol: 4. Pages 91-107.
Journal Article Nunn, Charles L.; Gittleman, John L.; Antonovics, Janis. 2003. A comparative study of white blood cell counts and disease risk in carnivores. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences. Vol: 270. Pages 347-356.
Journal Article Nunn, Charles L. 2003. Behavioural defences against sexually transmitted diseases in primates. Animal Behaviour. Vol: 66(1). Pages 37-48. (Abstract)
Journal Article Nunn, Charles L.; Altizer, Sonia; Jones, Kate E.; Sechrest, Wes. 2003. Comparative tests of parasite species richness in primates. American Naturalist. Vol: 162(5). Pages 597-614.
Journal Article Nunn, Charles L.; Altizer, Sonia; Sechrest, Wes; Jones, Kate E.; Barton, Robert; Gittleman, John L. 2004. Parasites and the evolutionary diversification of primate clades. American Naturalist. Vol: 164. Pages S90-S103.
Book Chapter Nunn, Charles L.; Altizer, Sonia. 2004. Sexual selection, behavior and sexually transmitted diseases. Edited by Kappeler, P. M.; van Schaik, C. P.. Sexual Selection in Primates: New and Comparative Perspectives. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge. Pages 117-130.
Journal Article Nunn, Charles L.; Altizer, Sonia; Sechrest, Wes; Cunningham, Andrew A. 2005. Latitudinal gradients of parasite species richness in primates. Diversity and Distributions. Vol: 11. Pages 249–256.
Journal Article Nunn, Charles L.; Altizer, Sonia. 2005. The global mammal parasite database: An online resource for infectious disease records in wild primates. Evolutionary Anthropology. Vol: 14. Pages 1-2.
Journal Article Nunn, Charles L.; Thrall, Peter H.; Stewart, Kelly; Harcourt, Alexander H. 2008. Emerging infectious diseases and animal social systems. Evolutionary Ecology. Vol: 22. Pages 519–543.
Journal Article Pedersen, Amy B.; Altizer, Sonia; Poss, Mary; Cunningham, Andrew A.; Nunn, Charles L. 2005. Patterns of host specificity and transmission among parasites of wild primates. International Journal for Parasitology. Vol: 35. Pages 647–657.
Journal Article Pedersen, Amy B.; Jones, Kate E.; Nunn, Charles L.; Altizer, Sonia. 2007. Infectious diseases and extinction risk in wild mammals. Conservation Biology. Vol: 21(5). Pages 1269-1279.
Journal Article Vitone, Nick; Altizer, Sonia; Nunn, Charles L. 2004. Body size, diet and sociality influence the species richness of parasitic worms in anthropoid primates. Evoluationary Ecology Research. Vol: 6. Pages 183-199.
"Understanding the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases in mammalian mating and social systems" is project ID: 3820