Jim Adelman image

James S Adelman

  • Affiliate Faculty


Contact Info

201 Science II
Social Media and Websites

Research Area

Area of Expertise

  • Disease Ecology
  • Ecological Immunology
  • Physiological Ecology


  • B.S., Biology, Duke University, 1999
  • Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, 2010

Interdepartmental Programs

I am an affiliate faculty member with the NREM department, no longer at Iowa State. As such, my lab is not recruiting new members.

I am a disease ecologist broadly interested in how variation in organismal traits influences population-level processes.  Specifically, I am interested in how individual variation in immune and behavioral responses to infection alter the transmission and evolution of wildlife pathogens.

Research Focus

(See my lab's website for additional information)

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?

Selected Publications, with links to abstracts

(Full list available on my Google Scholar page)

Vaziri, G.J., S.A. Muñoz, E.S. Martinsen, and J.S. Adelman. In press. Gut parasite levels predict responses to simulated bacterial infection in a wild songbird. Journal of Wildlife Diseaseshttps://doi.org/10.7589/2017-07-176.

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: 1-5.

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: DOI: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2016.10.013.

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.

Park, M., S. Kim, J.S. Adelman, A.E. Leon, D.M. Hawley, R.A. Dalloul. 2017. Identification and functional characterization of the house finch interleukin-1β. Developmental and Comparative Immunology 69: 41-50.

Kim, S., M. Park, A.E. Leon, J.S. Adelman, D.M. Hawley, and R.A. Dalloul. 2017. Development and validation of a house finch interleukin-1β (HfIL-1β) ELISA system. BMC Veterinary Research 13:276.

Martin, L., S. Burgan, J.S. Adelman, and S. Gervasi. 2016. Host competence: an organismal trait to integrate immunology and epidemiology. Integrative and Comparative Biology 56: 1225-1237.

Love, A.C., S.L. Foltz, J.S. Adelman, I.T. Moore, and D.M. Hawley. 2016. Changes in corticosterone concentrations and behavior during Mycoplasma gallisepticum infection in house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus). General and Comparative Endocrinology 235: 70-77.

AdelmanJ.S., S.C. Moyers, D.R. Farine, and D.M. Hawley. 2015. Feeder use predicts both acquisition and transmission of a contagious pathogen in a North American songbird.  Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B 282: 20151429. 

Adelman, J.S., I.T. Moore, and D.M. Hawley. 2015. House finch responses to Mycoplasma gallisepticum do not vary with experimentally increased aggression. Journal of Experimental Zoology, Part A 323: 39-51.

Adelman, J.S. 2015. Immune systems: linking organisms, populations, and evolution through disease. In Integrative Organismal Biology, (L.B. Martin, C.K. Ghalambor and H.A. Woods, eds.). 

Nuñez, C.M.V, J.S. Adelman, and D.I. Rubenstein. 2015. Sociality increases juvenile survival after a catastrophic event in the feral horse (Equus caballus). Behavioral Ecology 26: 138-147.

Adelman, J.S., S.C. Moyers, and D.M. Hawley. 2014. Using remote biomonitoring to understand heterogeneity in immune-responses and disease-dynamics in small, free-living animals. Integrative and Comparative Biology 54: 377-386.

Adelman, J.S., L. Kirkpatrick, J.L. Grodio, and D.M. Hawley. 2013. House finch populations differ in early inflammatory signaling and pathogen tolerance at the peak of Mycoplasma gallisepticum infection. The American Naturalist 181: 674-689.

Adelman, J.S., A.W. Carter, W.A. Hopkins, and D.M. Hawley. 2013. Deposition of pathogenic Mycoplasma gallisepticum onto bird feeders: host pathology is more important than temperature-driven increases in food intake. Biology Letters 9: 20130594.

Nuñez, C.M.V, J.S. Adelman, and D.I. Rubenstein. 2013. A free-ranging, feral mare (Equus caballus) affords similar maternal care to her genetic and adopted offspring. The American Naturalist 182: 674-681.

Lopes, P.C., J.S. Adelman, J.C. Wingfield, and G.E. Bentley. 2012. Social context modulates sickness behavior. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 66: 1421-1428.

Adelman, J.S., S. Córdoba-Córdoba, K. Spoelstra, M. Wikelski, and M. Hau. 2010. Radiotelemetry reveals variation in fever and sickness behaviours with latitude in a free-living passerine. Functional Ecology 24: 813-823.

Adelman, J.S., G.E. Bentley, J.C. Wingfield, L.B. Martin, and M. Hau. 2010. Population differences in fever and sickness behaviors in a wild passerine: a role for cytokines. Journal of Experimental Biology 213: 4099-4109.

Adelman, J.S. and L.B. Martin. 2009. Vertebrate sickness behaviors: adaptive and integrated neuroendocrine immune responses. Integrative and Comparative Biology 49: 202-214.

Vitousek, M.N., J.S. Adelman, N.C. Gregory, and J.J.H. St Clair. 2007. Heterospecific alarm call recognition in a non-vocal reptile. Biology Letters 3: 632-634.

Wikelski, M., D. Moskowitz, J.S. Adelman, J. Cochran, D.S. Wilcove, and M.L. May. 2006. Simple rules guide dragonfly migration. Biology Letters 2: 325-329.