Pauline L. Kamath

Associate Professor of Animal Health

Degree:  Ph.D. 2011, University of California, Berkeley
Phone: 207.581.2935
Location: 342 Hitchner Hall

Lab Website:

Professional Interests: Disease ecology and evolution; wildlife conservation; genomics; population genetics; phylogenetics

Teaching: AVS 249 Laboratory and Companion Animal Science, AVS 477/577 Zoonoses and Animal Health, EES 598 Special Seminar in EES: Ecology, Evolution, and Everything

Research: My research is grounded in a One Health framework and focuses on understanding infectious disease transmission dynamics and host-pathogen evolution in wildlife disease
systems, particularly those at the interface with domestic species and humans. I specifically apply genetic/genomic and statistical approaches to address diverse research questions, including: (1) What are the effects of co-infecting parasites on host individuals and populations? (2) How are diseases transmitted across hosts, space, and time? (3) What is the genetic basis for heterogeneity in host susceptibility? (4) What are the eco-evolutionary drivers of disease transmission and spillover into new hosts, and can these factors be used to predict future spread? This work involves both field and laboratory components, and multidisciplinary analyses that integrate genetic information with ecological, immunological, and epidemiological data. Current wildlife disease systems include Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae in wild and domestic sheep and goats, anthrax in plains zebra of southern Africa, parasite ecology in moose, avian pathogen ecology and transmission in migrating and resident birds, and interactions between the animal microbiome, behavior, contaminants, and pathogen infections in wildlife. Other
research interests include the investigation of population trends, structure, connectivity, and hybridization in threatened and invasive species.

Pauline’ Google Scholar Page:

Selected Publications:

Shea, S.A., M.B. Gonnerman, E.J. Blomberg, K.M. Sullivan, P. Milligan, P.L. Kamath (2022) Pathogen survey and predictors of lymphoproliferative disease virus infection in wild turkeys. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 58(3): 537-549.

Thie, N., A. Corl, S. Turjeman, R. Efrat, P.L. Kamath, W.M. Getz, R.C.K. Bowie, R. Nathan (2022) Linking migration and microbiota at a major stopover site in a long-distance avian migrant. Movement Ecology 10: 46.

Choi, O., A. Corl, A. Wolfenden, A. Lublin, S.L. Ishaq, S. Turjeman, R. Nathan, W.M. Getz, R.C.K. Bowie, P.L. Kamath (2021) High-throughput sequencing for examining Salmonella prevalence and pathogen-microbiota relationships in barn swallows. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 9: 683183.

Elliott, J.A., C.C. Dickson, L. Kantar, M.R. O’Neal, A. Lichtenwalner, A. Bryant, W. Jakubas, P.J. Pekins, S.M. De Urioste-Stone, P.L. Kamath (2021) Prevalence and risk factors of Anaplasma infections in Eastern moose (Alces alces americana) and winter ticks (Dermacentor albipictus) in Maine, United States. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 57 (4): 844-855

Bruce, S.A., Y.-H. Huang, P.L. Kamath, H. van Heerden, W.C. Turner (2021) The roles of antimicrobial resistance, phage diversity and environment in shaping the genomic architecture of Bacillus anthracis. Microbial Genomics 7: 000616.

Turner, W.C., P.L. Kamath, H. van Heerden, Y.-H. Huang, Z.R. Barandongo, S.A. Bruce, K. Kausrud (2021) The roles of environmental variation and parasite survival in virulence-transmission relationships. Royal Society Open Science 8: 210088.

Huang, Y.-H., H. Joel, M. Küsters, Z.R. Barandongo, C.C. Cloete, A. Hartmann, P.L. Kamath, J.W. Kilian, J.K.E. Mfune, G. Shatumbu, R. Zidon, W.M. Getz, W.C. Turner. (2021) Disease or drought: environmental fluctuations release zebra from a potential pathogen-triggered ecological trap. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 288: 20210582

Turjeman, S, A. Corl, A. Wolfenden, M. Tsalyuk, A. Lublin, O. Choi, P.L. Kamath, W.M. Getz, R. Bowie, R. Nathan (2020) ) Migration, pathogens, and the avian microbiome: a comparative study in sympatric migrants and residents. Molecular Ecology 29: 4706-4720

Kamath, P.L., K. Manlove, E.F. Cassirer, P.C. Cross, T.E. Besser (2019) Genetic structure of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae informs pathogen spillover dynamics between domestic and wild Caprinae in the western United States. Scientific Reports 9: 15318.

Cassirer, E.F., K.R. Manlove, E.S. Almberg, P.L. Kamath, M. Cox, P. Wolff, A. Roug, J. Shannon, R. Robinson, R. Harris, B. Gonzales, R.K. Plowright, P.J. Hudson, P.C. Cross, A. Dobson, T.E. Besser (2017) Pneumonia in bighorn sheep: risk and resilience. Journal of Wildlife Management 82: 32-45.

Kamath, P.L., J.T. Foster, K.P. Drees, G. Luikart, C. Quance, N.J. Anderson, P.R. Clarke, E.K. Cole, M.L Drew, W.H. Edwards, J.C. Rhyan, J.J. Treanor, R.L. Wallen, P.J. White, S. Robbe- Austerman, P.C. Cross (2016) Genomics reveals historic and contemporary transmission dynamics of a bacterial disease among wildlife and livestock. Nature Communications 7: 11448.

Kamath, P.L., W.C. Turner, M. Küsters, W.M. Getz (2014) Parasite-mediated selection drives an immunogenetic tradeoff in plains zebras (Equus quagga). Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 281: 20140077.