Michael F. Antolin

Michael F. AntolinChair and Professor
Office: Anatomy-Zoology Building E406A
Phone: 970-491-7011
Education: BA: University of Pennsylvania; MSc: University of Alberta, Canada; PhD: Florida State University
Email: michael.antolin@colostate.edu

My laboratory group focuses on the effects of patchy or fragmented habitats on the population genetics of animals and plants. Most of my work has been on the genetics of sex ratio, life-history variation, and mating systems of parasitic wasps. For the last 15 years we have worked on the Short Grass Steppe Long Term Ecological Research Site (http://sgslter.colostate.edu), located 40 miles northeast of Fort Collins on the Pawnee National Grassland. We have conducted studies of the population genetics of the Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus), whose populations are severely affected by local outbreaks of plague (Yersinia pestis). Besides studying metapopulation dynamics of prairie dogs, we study the epidemiology of plague in the context of climate variability and the rodent communities surrounding prairie dog colonies, transmission of the plague bacterium by fleas, and genetic analyses of the plague bacterium.

Recently we have been working with a large interdisciplinary group of researchers on the NSF-funded Laramie Foothills Chronic Wasting Disease Project, where we study the genetics of CWD in mule deer in relation to spatial epidemiology and genetics http://www.nrel.colostate.edu/projects/modelingCWD/.

Our studies use of a variety of molecular genetic markers, including microsatellites, mitochondrial DNA, SSCP, and DNA sequencing.

We also hoist students who are part of the Flexible and Extendible Scientific Undergraduate Experience (FEScUE), an NSF-funded  Undergraduate Biology and Mathematics Program http://www.fescue.colostate.edu

Selected Publications

Bayard de Volo, S., R.T. Reynolds, R.T., S.A. Sonsthagen, S.L. Talbot and M.F. Antolin.  2013.  Phylogeography, post-glacial gene flow and population history of North American Goshawks (Accipiter gentilis).  The Auk, 130:342-354.

Antolin, M.F., K.P. Jenkins, C.T. Bergstrom, B.J. Crespi, S. De, A. Hancock, K.A. Hanley, T.R. Meagher, A. Moreno-Estrada, R.M. Nesse, G.S. Omenn, S.C. Stearns.  2012.  Evolution and medicine in undergraduate education: a prescription for all biology students. Evolution 66: 1991–2006.

Jenkins, K.P., and M.F. Antolin.  2011. Evolution and medicine.  Evolution: Education and Outreach 4: 556-558.

Antolin, M.F.  2011.  Evolution, medicine, and the Darwin family.  Evolution: Education and Outreach 4: 613-623.

Savage, L.T., R. M. Reich, L.M. Hartley, P. Stapp, M.F. Antolin.  2011. Climate, soils and connectivity predict plague epizootics in Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus).  Ecological Applications 21: 2933–2943

Tavener, S.J., M. Mikucki, S.G. Field, and M.F. Antolin.  2011.  Transient sensitivity analysis for nonlinear population models.  Methods in Ecology and Evolution 2: 560–575.

Tripp, D.W., K.L. Gage, K.L., J.A. Montenieri, J.A., & M.F. Antolin.   2009.  Flea abundance on Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) increases during plague epizootics.  J. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 9: 313-321.

Antolin, M.F. 2008. Unpacking β: Within-host dynamics and evolutionary ecology of pathogen transmission. Annu. Rev. Ecol. Evol. Systemat. 39: 415-437.

Wilder, A.P., R.J. Eisen, S.W. Bearden, J.A. Montenieri, D.W. Tripp, R.J. Brinkerhoff, K.L. Gage, and M.F. Antolin. 2008. Transmission efficiency of two flea species (Oropsylla tuberculata cynomuris and Oropsylla hirsuta) involved in plague epizootics among prairie dogs. EcoHealth 5: 205-212.

Antolin, M.F., T.A. Bjorksten, and T. T. Vaughn. 2006. Host-related fitness trade-offs in a presumed generalist parasitoid, Diaeretiella rapae (Hymenoptera: Aphidiidae). Ecological Entomology 31: 242-254.

Eisen, R.J., S.W. Bearden, A.P. Wilder, J.A. Montenieri, M.F. Antolin, and K.L. Gage. 2006. Early-phase transmission of Yersinia pestis by unblocked fleas as a mechanism explaining rapidly spreading plague epizootics. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 103: 15380-15385.

Webb, C.T., C.P. Brooks, K.L. Gage, and M.F. Antolin. 2006. Classic flea-borne transmission does not drive plague epizootics in prairie dogs. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 103: 6236-6241.

Stapp, P., M.F. Antolin, and M. Ball. 2004. Patterns of extinction in prairie dog metapopulations: plague outbreaks follow El Niño events. Front. Ecol. Environ 2: 235-240.

Baer, C.F., D.W.Tripp, T.A. Bjorksten, and M. F. Antolin. 2004. Phylogeography of a parasitoid wasp (Diaeretiella rapae): no evidence of host-associated lineages. Molecular Ecology 13: 1859-1869.

Black, W.C. IV, C.F. Baer, M.F. Antolin, and N.M. DuTeau. 2001. Population Genomics: Genome-wide Sampling of Insect Populations. Annual. Review of Entomology 46: 441-469.

Antolin, M.F. and J. H. Herbers. 2001. Perspective: Evolution's struggle for existence in America's public schools. Evolution 55: 2379-2388.