Jason Rohr Ludmilla F., Stephen J., and Robert T. Galla College Professor of Biological Sciences

Ecology and Public Health
Jason Rohr

Research Interests: 

My research interests encompass ecology and public health.  I am particularly interested in how anthropogenic changes, mainly pollution, climate change, and alterations to biodiversity, affect wildlife populations, species interactions, and the spread of both wildlife and human diseases. These effects are undoubtedly complex and dependent upon biotic and abiotic conditions. Consequently, my collaborators and I have studied interactions among multiple natural and anthropogenic stressors and are making efforts to integrate our research across disciplines. Our goal is to understand and develop solutions to, environmental problems to enhance the likelihood of a sustainable existence for both humans and wildlife. Much of my wildlife research has focused on amphibians because they are declining globally and much of my human disease work has focused on zoonotic bacteria and schistosomiasis. However, I have worked with a diversity of host taxa and parasite taxa and I tend to be more motivated by interesting questions, syntheses, and the quest for generalities than taxa-specific pursuits. When possible, I try to integrate laboratory experiments, mesocosm studies, field experiments, field surveys, and mathematical models to enhance our understanding of natural systems.

My current and active research interests in ecology fall at the interface of ecotoxicology, conservation biology, and community, population, behavioral, climate change, and disease ecology. My current and active research interests in public health involve understanding drivers of human schistosomiasis, how to feed the projected 11 billion people on the planet sustainably, the impacts of climate change on vector-borne and other zoonotic diseases, the effects of biodiversity on disease risk, and microbiome-infectious disease interactions.

Biography:

  • Professor, University of South Florida, FL, Department of Integrative Biology, Patel School of Global Sustainability 2017-2019
  • Courtesy Professor, University of South Florida, FL, Department of Global Health 2017-2019
  • Associate Chair, Department of Integrative Biology, University of South Florida, FL 2016-2019
  • Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Ecology Research (CIDER), University of South Florida, FL 2016-2019
  • Affiliate, Florida Climate Institute 2015-2019
  • Associate Professor, University of South Florida, FL, Department of Integrative Biology, Patel School of Global Sustainability 2011-2017
  • Assistant Professor, University of South Florida, FL, Department of Integrative Biology, Patel School of Global Sustainability 2007-2011
  • Research Associate, Penn State University, PA, Department of Biology, Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, Penn State Institutes of the Environment, Department of Entomology, Center for BioDiversity Research 2004-2007
  • Post-doctoral Research Associate, University of Kentucky, KY, Department of Biology 2002-2004
  • Ph.D., Ecology & Behavior - Binghamton University, NY 2002
  • M.A. Teaching Biology - Binghamton University, NY 1997
  • B.A. Biology & Environmental Studies (dual degree) - Binghamton University, NY 1996

Selected Publications:

  • McMahon, T.A., Sears, B.F., Venesky, M.D., Brown, J.M., Deutsch, K., Halstead, N.T., Lentz, G., Tenouri, N., Young, S., Civitello, D.J., Ortega, N., Fites, J.S., Reinert, L.K., Rollins-Smith, L.A., Raffel, T.R., Rohr, J.R. 2014. Amphibians acquire resistance to live and dead fungus overcoming fungal immunosuppression. Nature 511:224-227
  • Rohr, J.R., Schotthoefer, A.M., Raffel, T.R., Carrick, H.J., Halstead, N., Hoverman, J.T., Johnson, C.M., Johnson, L.B., Lieske, C., Piwoni, M.D., Schoff, P.K., Beasley, V.R. 2008. Agrochemicals increase trematode infections in a declining amphibian species. Nature 455: 1235-1239
  • Rohr, J.R., Salice, C.J., Nisbet, R.M. 2017. Chemical safety must extend to ecosystems. Science 356: 917
  • Halstead, N.T., Arakala, A., Civitello, D.J., Deleo, G., Gambhir, M., Hoover, C., Johnson, S.A., Jouanard, N., McMahon, T.A., Parker, K., Raffel, T.R., Remais, J., Riveau, G., Sokolow, S., Rohr, J.R. 2018. Agrochemicals increase risk of human schistosomiasis by supporting higher densities of intermediate hosts. Nature Communications 9: 837 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03189-w
  • Knutie, S.A., Wilkinson, C.L., Kohl, K.D., Rohr, J.R. 2017. Early-life disruption of amphibian microbiota decreases later-life resistance to parasites. Nature Communications 8: 86. doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00119-0
  • Cohen, J.M., Lajeunesse, M.J., Rohr, J.R. 2018. A global synthesis of animal phenological responses to climate change. Nature Climate Change 8: 224-228
  • Raffel, T.R., Romansic, J.M., Halstead, N.T., McMahon, T.A., Venesky, M.D., Rohr, J.R. 2013. Disease and thermal acclimation in a more variable and unpredictable climate. Nature Climate Change 3: 146-151
  • Cohen, J., Civitello, D.J., Brace, A.J., Feichtinger, E., Ortega, N., Richardson, J.C., Sauer, E.L., Liu, X., Rohr, J.R. 2016. Spatial scale modulates the strength of ecological processes driving disease distributions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113: E3359–E3364 doi:10.1073/pnas.1521657113
  • Civitello, D.J., Cohen, J., Fatima, H., Halstead, N.T., Liriano, J., McMahon, T.A., Ortega, C.N., Sauer, E., Sehgal, T., Young, S., Rohr, J.R. 2015. Biodiversity inhibits parasites: broad evidence for the dilution effect. Proceedings of the National Academy of the United States of America 112:8667–8671
  • Rohr, J.R., Civitello, D.J., Crumrine, P.W., Halstead, N.T., Miller, A.D, Schotthoefer, A.M., Stenoien, C., Johnson, L.B., Beasley, V.R. 2015. Predator diversity, intraguild predation, and indirect effects drive parasite transmission. Proceedings of the National Academy of the United States of America 112:3008-3013
  • McMahon, T.A., Brannelly, L.A., Chatfield, M.W.H., Johnson, P.T.J., Joseph, M.B., McKenzie, V.J., Richards-Zawacki, C.L., Venesky, M.D., Rohr, J.R. 2013. Chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has nonamphibian hosts and releases chemicals that cause pathology in the absence of infection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110: 210-215
  • Rohr, J.R., Raffel, T.R. 2010. Linking global climate and temperature variability to widespread amphibian declines putatively caused by disease. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107: 8269-8274
  • Rohr, J.R., Raffel, T.R., Romansic, J., McCallum, H., Hudson, P.J. 2008. Evaluating the links between climate, disease spread, and amphibian declines. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 105: 17436-17441
  • De Laender, F., Rohr, J.R., Ashauer, R., Baird, D.J., Berger, U., Eisenhauer, N., Grimm, V., Hommen, U., Maltby, L., Meliàn, C.J., Pomati, F., Roessink, I., Radchuk, V., Van den Brink, P.J. 2016. Re-introducing environmental change drivers in biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 31: 905-915
  • Rohr, J.R., Dobson, A.P., Johnson, P.T.J., Kilpatrick, A.M., Paull, S.H., Raffel, T.R., Ruiz-Moreno, D., Thomas, M.B. 2011. Frontiers in climate change-disease research. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 26: 270-277
  • Rohr, J.R., Kerby, J., Sih, A. 2006. Community ecology theory as a framework for predicting contaminant effects. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 21: 606-613
  • Rohr, J.R., Civitello, D.J., Cohen, J.M., Roznik, E.A., Sinervo, B., Dell, A.I. 2018. The complex drivers of thermal acclimation and breadth in ectotherms. Ecology Letters 21: 1425–1439
  • Civitello, D.J., Fatima, H., Johnson, L.R., Nisbet, R.M., Rohr, J.R. 2018. Bioenergetic theory for host-parasite interactions: A case study with human schistosomes. Ecology Letters 21: 692–701
  • Cohen, J.M., Venesky, M.D., Sauer, E.L., Civitello, D.J., McMahon, T.A., Roznik, E.A., Rohr, J.R. 2017. The thermal mismatch hypothesis explains outbreaks of an emerging infectious disease. Ecology Letters 20: 184–193
  • Rohr, J.R., McCoy, K.A. 2010. A qualitative meta-analysis reveals consistent effects of atrazine on freshwater fish and amphibians. Environmental Health Perspectives 118: 20-32
  • Rohr, J.R. 2018. Atrazine and amphibians: A story of profits, controversy and animus. In: Dominick A. DellaSala, and Michael I. Goldstein (eds.) The Encyclopedia of the Anthropocene 5: 141-148
  • Mordecai, E.A., Cohen, J.M., Evans, M., Gudapati, P., Johnson, L.R., Miazgowicz, K., Murdock, C.C., Rohr, J.R., Ryan, S.J., Savage, V., Shocket, M., Stewart-Ibarra, A., Matthew, M.B., Weikel, D.P. 2017. Temperature characterizes Zika, dengue and chikungunya transmission potential in the Americas. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 11(4): e0005568. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0005568
  • Rohr, J.R., Salice, C.J., Nisbet, R.M. 2016. The pros and cons of ecological risk assessment based on data from different levels of biological organization. Critical Reviews in Toxicology 46: 756-784
  • Sears, B.F., Snyder, P.W., Rohr, J.R. 2015. Host life-history and host-parasite syntopy predict behavioral resistance and tolerance to trematode parasites. Journal of Animal Ecology 84:625-636
  • Clements, W.H., Rohr, J.R. 2009. Community responses to contaminants: Using basic ecological principles to predict ecotoxicological effects. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 28: 1789-1800