Chris S. Jennelle



Postdoctoral Research Associate (former)

Current Contact Information:





Research Interests:

I am broadly interested in studying the ecology of wildlife diseases from individual, community, and population perspectives. I have a particular interest in quantifying host responses to pathogen exposure, and using field and laboratory experiments to address hypotheses pertaining to disease spread, transmission dynamics, behavioral ecology of hosts, and the evolutionary ecology of host-pathogen relationships.

My research includes:

1. Chronic wasting disease ecology in free-ranging white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
a. Factors influencing deer carcass decomposition and propensity for spread of infectious material from deer carcasses
    to scavenger communities.
b. Temporal and spatial dynamics of scavenger communities
c. Scavenger ecology with respect to the potential for disease spread and maintenance 

2. Mycoplasma gallisepticum dynamics in house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus)
a. Influence of disease state on temporary movements (and population mixing) from local-scale habitats
b. Interaction of short- and long-distance movements on the spread and maintenance of MG infections in finches
c. Behavioral ecology of house finches and the influence of disease state on conspecific interactions


Ph.D. – Partitioning and quantifying sources of heterogeneity in a house finch-Mycoplasma gallisepticum disease system. Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, 2007

M.S. – Avian community structure and nesting ecology of prairie warblers (Dendroica discolor) and indigo buntings (Passerina cyanea) in even-aged forests of Ouachita National Forest. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Arkansas, 2000

B.S. – Wildlife Science (GIS certification), Department of Natural Resources, Rutgers University, 1997


 Dhondt A. A., K.V. Dhondt, D.M. Hawley, and C.S. Jennelle. 2007.  Experimental evidence for transmission of Mycoplasma gallisepticum in house finches by fomites. Avian Pathology 36: 205-208.
Hawley, D.M., C.S. Jennelle, K.V. Sydenstricker, G.V. Kollias, and A.A. Dhondt. 2007. Social status mediates immunocompetence and pathogen resistance in groups of house finches. Functional Ecology 21:520-527.
Jennelle, C.S., E.G. Cooch, M.J. Conroy, and J.C. Senar. 2007. State-specific detection probabilities and disease prevalence. Ecological Applications 17:154-167.
Seidenstricker, K.V., A.A. Dhondt, D.M. Hawley, C.S. Jennelle, H.W. Kollias, and G.V. Kollias. 2006. Characterization of experimental Mycoplasma gallisepticum infection in captive house finch flocks. Avian Diseases 50:39-44.
Dhondt, A.A., S. Altizer, E.G. Cooch, A.K. Davis, A. Dobson, M. Driscoll, B.K. Hartup, D.M. Hawley, W. Hochachka, P.R. Hosseini, C.S.
Jennelle, G. Kollias, D.H. Ley, E. Swarthout, and K.V. Sydenstricker. 2005. Dynamics of a novel pathogen in an avian host: Mycoplasmal conjunctivitis in house finches. Acta Tropica 94:77-93.
Faustino, C.R., C.S. Jennelle, V. Connolly, A.K. Davis, E.C. Swarthout, A.A. Dhondt, and E.G. Cooch. 2004. Mycoplasma gallisepticum
infection dynamics in a house finch population: Seasonal variation in survival, encounter and transmission rate. Journal of Animal Ecology 73:651-669.
Jennelle, C.S., M.C. Runge, and D.I. MacKenzie. 2002. The use of photographic rates to estimate densities of tigers and other cryptic mammals: a comment on misleading conclusions. Animal Conservation 5:119–120.
Manuscripts in review or preparation:

Jennelle, C.S., E.G. Cooch, C.R. Faustino, and A.A. Dhondt. In review. The interaction of local-scale movement patterns and demographic risk factors on house finch-Mycoplasma gallisepticum dynamics. Ecology.

Jennelle, C.S., E.G. Cooch, W.L. Kendall, and A.A. Dhondt. In prep. The impacts of temporary emigration and recruitment of house finches on Mycoplasmal conjunctivitis dynamics.
Jennelle, C.S., D.M. Hawley, K.V. Seidenstricker, and A.A. Dhondt. In prep. The consequences of Mycoplasma gallisepticum infection on conspecific interactions and fomite contacts in house finches.