James S. Adelman

Assistant Professor

Life Sciences 325
Office Hours
By Appointment
James S. Adelman, Ph.D.

About Dr. Adelman

No two organisms respond to infection in the same way—a phenomenon with far-reaching implications for infectious disease dynamics, ecology, and evolution. Nevertheless, variation in individual traits, including immune and behavioral responses to infection, has traditionally been studied separately from population-level aspects of epidemiology, such as disease prevalence and pathogen transmission. My research suggests that we cannot fully understand these individual- or population-level processes in isolation. I incorporate techniques from immunology, eco-physiology, and animal behavior to answer two main questions at the interface of physiology and ecology: 1) why, mechanistically and evolutionarily, do individuals vary in their immune and behavioral responses to infection? and 2) how does this variation shape pathogen transmission and evolution?

Research Interests

  • Disease Ecology
  • Ecological Immunology and Physiology
  • Animal Behavior


B.S. Biology, Duke University; Ph.D. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University; Post-Doctoral Fellow Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech

Recent Publications

  • Vaziri, G.J., M.J. Johny, P.C. Caragea, and J.S. Adelman. 2019. Social context affects thermoregulation but not activity level after immune challenge in a social passerine. Behavioral Ecology 30: 383-392.
  • Vaziri, G.J., S.A. Muñoz, E.S. Martinsen, and J.S. Adelman. 2019. Gut parasite levels predict responses to simulated bacterial infection in a wild songbird. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 55: 64-74.
  • Hawley, D.M., S.C. Moyers, J. Caceres, C. Youngbar, and J.S. Adelman. 2018. Characterization of unilateral conjunctival inoculation with Mycoplasma gallisepticum in house finches. Avian Pathology 47: 526-530.
  • Moyers, S.C. , J.S. Adelman, D.R. Farine, I.T. Moore, and D.M. Hawley. 2018. Exploratory behavior is linked to stress physiology and social network centrality in free-living house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus). Hormones and Behavior 102: 105-113.
  • Moyers, S.C. , J.S. Adelman, D.R. Farine, C.A. Thomason, and D.M. Hawley. 2018. Feeder density enhances house finch disease transmission in experimental epidemics. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Series B 373: 20170090.
  • Houston, D.D., S. Azeem, C. Lundy, Y. Sato, B. Guo, J.A. Blanchong, P.C. Gauger K.J. Yoon, and J.S. Adelman. 2017. No evidence for a role of wild songbirds or rodents in spreading avian influenza virus across an agricultural landscape. PeerJ 5: e4060.
  • Adelman, J.S., and D.M. Hawley. 2017. Tolerance of infection: a role for animal behavior, potential immune mechanisms, and consequences for parasite transmission. Hormones and Behavior 88: 79-86.
  • Adelman, J.S., C. Mayer, and D.M. Hawley. 2017. Infection reduces anti-predator behaviors in house finches. Journal of Avian Biology 48: 519-528.
  • Brace, A.J. , M.J. Lajeunesse, D.R. Ardia, D.M. Hawley, J.S. Adelman, K.L. Buchanan, J.M. Fair, J.L. Grindstaff, K.D. Matson, and L.B. Martin. 2017. Costs of immune responses are related to host body size and lifespan. Journal of Experimental Zoology, Part A 327: 254-261.
  • Nuñez, C., J.S. Adelman, H. Carr, C. Knight, and D. Rubenstein. 2017. Lingering effects of contraception management on the birth rates and social behaviors in feral mares (Equus caballus). Conservation Physiology 5: cox018.