Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Andrew Storfer

Field of Study: Disease Ecology/Landscape Genetics
Title: Professor & Associate Director, Graduate Program
Degrees: Ph.D., Biology, University of Kentucky
Homepage: Storfer Lab
Office: 285 Eastlick
Phone: 509-335-7922
Fax: 509-335-3184
Mailing Address: School of Biological Sciences
Washington State University
PO Box 644236
Pullman WA 99164-4236

Research Interests

Dr. Storfer uses a combination of molecular genetic tools, laboratory experiments and field experiments to investigate species’ range limits. Biodiversity research in general requires a two-pronged approach – studying the factors that contribute to patterns of diversity and those that constrain species’ ranges. The latter is particularly important as an increasing number of the world’s fauna become threatened or endangered. Amphibians are a group of taxa generally thought to be declining globally, and thus, human activities may further constrict species’ ranges.

Dr. Storfer’s lab currently has two focal research areas. The first is on phylogeography, landscape genetics, and life history dynamics of amphibians in the Pacific Northwest. The Pacific Northwestern amphibians offer unique opportunities to compare species with highly restricted ranges with those that have much broader ranges. The second research emphasis is on effects of diseases on amphibian populations. Dr. Storfer is working to understand coevolutionary relationships of salamanders and viruses. Hosts and pathogens provide ever-changing environments for one another, creating a dynamic pattern of reciprocal selection that drives the coevolutionary process. Aside from humans and economically important species, little is known about how disease affects wildlife populations, but with emerging infectious diseases affecting both wildlife and humans, understanding the evolutionary dynamics of wildlife diseases is becoming increasingly important.

Representative Publications

Murphy, M.A., J.S. Evans and A. Storfer. 2010, in press.Quantifying ecological process at multiple spatial scales using landscape genetics: Bufo boreas connectivity in Yellowstone National Park.  Ecology.

Storfer, A., J. M. Eastman and S. F. Spear. 2009. Modern molecular methods for amphibian conservation. Bioscience. 59: 559-571.

Kerby, J.L., K. Richards-Hrdlicka, A. Storfer and D.K. Skelly. 2009, in press. An examination of amphibian sensitivity to environmental contaminants:  Are amphibians poor canaries?Ecology Letters.

Eastman, J.M., J.N. Niedzwiecki, B.P. Nadler and A. Storfer. 2009.  Duration and consistency of historical selection are correlated with adaptive trait evolution in the streamside salamander,Ambystoma barbouri. Evolution 63: 2636–2647.

Steele, C.A., J. Baumsteiger and A. Storfer. 2009.  The influence of life history variation on genetic structure in two sympatric salamander taxa. Molecular Ecology 18: 1629-1639.

Murphy, M. A., J.S. Evans, S. Cushman and A. Storfer. 2008.Representing genetic variation as continuous surfaces: An approach for identifying spatial dependency in landscape genetic studies. Ecography 31:685-697.

Cotter, J.D., A. Storfer, R.B. Page, C.K. Beachy and S.R. Voss. 2008. Transcriptional response of Mexican axolotls to Ambystoma tigrinum virus (ATV) infection. BMC Genomics 9: 493

Spear, S.F. and A. Storfer. 2008. Landscape genetic structure of tailed frogs in protected versus managed forests.  Molecular Ecology. 17: 4642–4656.

Ridenhour, B. J. and A. Storfer.  2008. Geographically variable selection in Ambystoma tigrinum Virus (Iridoviridae) throughout the Western United States. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 21:1151-1159.

Storfer, A., M. E. Alfaro, B. J. Ridenhour, J. K. Jancovich, S. G. Mech, M. J. Parris and J. P. Collins., 2007.  Phylogenetic concordance analysis shows an emerging pathogen is novel and endemic. Ecology Letters. 10:1075-1083.

Steele, C. A. and A. Storfer. 2007. Phylogeographic incongruence of codistributed amphibian species based on small differences in geographic distribution.  Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 43:468-479.

Giordano, A. R., B. J. Ridenhour† and A. Storfer 2007. The influence of altitude and topography on genetic structure in the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum). Molecular Ecology. 16:1625-1637.

Storfer, A., M. A. Murphy, J. S. Evans, C. S. Goldberg, S. Robinson, S. F. Spear, R. Dezzani, E. Demelle, L. Vierling, and L. P. Waits. 2007. Putting the “landscape” in landscape genetics. Heredity98:128-142.

Forson, D. D. and A. Storfer 2006. Atrazine increases ranavirus susceptibility in the tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum. Ecological Applications 16: 2325-2332.

Steele, C. A. and A. Storfer. 2006.  Coalescent-based hypothesis testing supports multiple Pleistocene refugia in the Pacific Northwest for the Pacific Giant Salamander (Dicamptodon tenebrosus).  Molecular Ecology 15:2477-2487.

Spear, S. F., C. R. Peterson, M. Matocq and A. Storfer. 2005.Landscape genetics of the blotched tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum melanostictum. Molecular Ecology 14: 2553-2564.

Jancovich, J. K., E. W. Davidson, N. Parameswaran, J. Mao, V. G. Chinchar, J. P. Collins, B. L. Jacobs and A. Storfer 2005.  Evidence for emergence of an amphibian disease because of human-enhanced spread. Molecular Ecology 14:213-224.

Dybdahl, M. and A. Storfer. 2003. Parasite local adaptation: Red Queen versus Suicide King.  Trends in Ecology and Evolution 18: 523-530.

Storfer, A. 2003. Amphibian declines: Future directions. Diversity and Distributions 9: 151-163.

Collins, J. P. and A. Storfer. 2003. Amphibian declines: Sorting the hypotheses. Diversity and Distributions 9: 89-98.

Storfer, A., J. Cross, V. Rush, and J. Caruso. 1999. Adaptive coloration and gene flow as a constraint to local adaptation in the streamside salamander, Ambystoma barbouri. Evolution 53(3): 889-898.

Storfer, A. 1999. Gene flow and population subdivision in the streamside salamander, Ambystoma barbouri. Copeia 1999(1): 174-181.

Storfer, A. 1999. Gene flow and endangered species translocations: A topic revisited. Biological Conservation 87: 173-180.

Storfer, A. and A. Sih. 1998. Gene flow and ineffective antipredator behavior in a stream-breeding salamander. Evolution 52(2): 558-565.

Storfer, A. 1996. Quantitative genetics: A promising approach for the assessment of genetic variation in endangered species. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 11(8): 343-348.