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(267) 519-4934
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Stephanie Gervasi


Postdoctoral Fellow, Monell Chemical Senses Center

Laboratory of

Dr. Gary Beauchamp
Dr. Bruce Kimball


Ph.D., Zoology, Oregon State University
M.S., Natural Resources & Environment, University of Michigan

Research Summary

I am broadly interested in the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases and work at the interface of immunology, physiology and epidemiology to understand the individual-level mechanisms and population-level consequences of disease spread in wildlife and humans. My research at Monell focuses on the role of chemical signaling in parasite transmission potential. Animals constantly send, receive and respond to vital information about health and infection-status conveyed through odor profiles. Infected hosts can be recognized by smell and are often avoided by healthy individuals. The goal of my work at Monell is to understand (1) the immunological mechanisms that underlie variation in the production of infection-specific host odortypes and (2) the implications of chemical signaling for social behavior and host contact networks. Applications of this work include development of practical tools for disease detection, targeted strategies for disease management and the refinement of predictive models of disease spread that take into account important sources of contact heterogeneity that exist in natural populations.


Chemical ecology, odortype, infectious disease, inflammation, tolerance, sickness behavior, physiology, immunology, bioassay, networks

Recent Publications

Barron, D. G., S.S. Gervasi, J.N. Pruitt, & L. B. Martin. (2015) Behavioral competence: how host behaviors can interact to influence parasite transmission risk. Current Opinions in Behavioral Sciences, 6: 35-40.

Gervasi, S.S., D.J. Civitello, H.J. Kilvitis, & L.B. Martin. (2015) The context of host competence: a role for plasticity in host-parasite dynamics. Trends in Parasitology, 31: 419-425.

Bradley, P.W., S.S. Gervasi, J. Hua, R.D. Cothran, R.A. Relyea, D. H. Olson, & A.R. Blaustein (2015) Sensitivity to the emerging fungal pathogen Batrachochytium dendrobatidis varies among populations of amphibians. Conservation Biology, 29: 1347-1356.

Cothran, R.D., S.S. Gervasi, C. Murray, B.J. French, P.W. Bradley, J. Urbina, A.R. Blaustein, & R.A. Relyea (2015) Carotenoids and amphibians: effects on life history and susceptibility to the infectious pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Conservation Physiology, 3: cov005.

Gervasi, S.S., M. Lowry, E. Hunt, & A.R. Blaustein (2014) Temporal patterns in immunity, infection load, and disease susceptibility: understanding the drivers of host responses in the amphibian chytrid-fungus system. Functional Ecology, 28: 569-578.