SGS lead scientist co-authors special issue of peer-reviewed journal.

Network News Spring 2010, Vol. 23 No. 1
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Mike Antolin, lead PI for the SGS LTER and Professor of Biology at Colorado State University, co-wrote the lead article and served as guest editor for a special issue of the Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases journal.  The special issue reported on an international symposium, “The Ecology of Plague and its Effects on Wildlife” that was held in Fort Collins in November, 2008. 

Antolin’s research, in collaboration with SGS LTER Scientists Jim Detling, Paul Stapp (California State U. Fullerton) and David Augustine (USDA-ARS), focuses on plague outbreaks on prairie dog towns on the shortgrass steppe in Colorado.  The frequent outbreaks decimate towns when they occur, and influence diversity of associated plants and animals, including small rodents, birds like mountain plovers and burrowing owls, and pollinating insects.  The group studies metapopulation dynamics of the prairie dogs as well as the epidemiology of plague, how that may be influenced by climate variability, plague transmission by fleas, and molecular genetic analyses of the spread of the plague bacterium, Yersinia pestis

The international symposium brought together many leading researchers studying plague world-wide.  More information on the conference can be found on the journal’s website: and in an article written by Emily Wilmsen at CSU: