Pauline L. Kamath

Assistant 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 focuses on understanding infectious disease transmission dynamics and host-pathogen adaptation in wildlife disease systems, particularly those involving an interface with domestic species. I specifically apply genetic/genomic and statistical approaches to address diverse research questions, including: (1) How do pathogens influence host genetic diversity? (2) What is the genetic basis for heterogeneity in host susceptibility? (3) Can disease transmission dynamics be quantified across hosts, space and time? (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 brucellosis in wildlife and livestock of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae in wild and domestic sheep and goats, anthrax in plains zebra of southern Africa, and avian pathogens in migrating and resident birds along the Palearctic-African Flyway.  Other research interests include the investigation of population trends, structure, connectivity, and hybridization in threatened and invasive species.

Pauline’ Google Scholar Page:

Selected Publications:

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

Kamath, P.L. (2020) Harnessing genomics to trace the path of a viral outbreak in African lions.Molecular Ecology 29: 4254-4257.

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.

Manlove, K., E.S. Almberg, P.L. Kamath, R.K. Plowright, T.E. Besser, P.J. Hudson. (2019) Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae in bighorn sheep: from exploration to action. In: Wildlife Disease Ecology: Linking Theory to Data and Application. Eds. K. Wilson, A. Fenton, D. Tompkins. British Ecological Society, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Carlson, C., W.M. Getz, K.L. Kausrud, C.A. Cizauskas, J.K. Blackburn, F. A. Bustos, R.R. Colwell, W.R. Easterday, H.H. Ganz, P.L. Kamath, O.A. Økstad, W.C. Turner, A.-B. Kolstø, N.C. Stenseth (2018)Spores and soil from six sides:interdisciplinarity and the environmental biology of anthrax (Bacillus anthracis). Biological Reviews 93(4): 1813-1831.

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.