Bridgett M Vonholdt

Bridgett M Vonholdt
Princeton University | PU · Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

About

145
Publications
55,877
Reads
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20,105
Citations
Citations since 2016
96 Research Items
15079 Citations
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201620172018201920202021202205001,0001,5002,000
201620172018201920202021202205001,0001,5002,000
Additional affiliations
July 2013 - present
Princeton University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
June 2010 - June 2012
University of California, Irvine
Position
  • PostDoc Position
September 2006 - December 2006
National Human Genome Research Institute
Position
  • Visiting graduate student

Publications

Publications (145)
Article
Full-text available
Background Hybridization can be a conservation concern if genomic introgression leads to the loss of an endangered species’ unique genome, or when hybrid offspring are sterile or less fit than their parental species. Yet hybridization can also be an adaptive management tool if rare populations are inbred and have reduced genetic variation, and ther...
Article
Full-text available
We know much about pathogen evolution and the emergence of new disease strains, but less about host resistance and how it is signaled to other individuals and subsequently maintained. The cline in frequency of black-coated wolves (Canis lupus) across North America is hypothesized to result from a relationship with canine distemper virus (CDV) outbr...
Article
Full-text available
Coyotes are ubiquitous on the North American landscape as a result of their recent expansion across the continent. They have been documented in the heart of some of the most urbanized cities, such as Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City. Here, we explored the genomic composition of 16 coyotes in the New York metropolitan area to investigate geno...
Preprint
Full-text available
Coyotes are ubiquitous on the North American landscape as a result of their recent expansion across the continent. They have been documented in the heart of some of the most urbanized cities, such as Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City. Here, we explored the genomic composition of coyotes in the New York metropolitan area to investigate if geno...
Article
Full-text available
The last known red wolves were captured in southwestern Louisiana and eastern Texas in 1980 to establish a captive breeding population. Before their extirpation, gene flow with coyotes resulted in the persistence of endangered red wolf genetic variation in local coyote populations. We assessed genomic ancestry and morphology of coyotes in southwest...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Hybridization can be a conservation concern if genomic introgression leads to the loss of an endangered species’ unique genome, or when hybrid offspring are sterile or less fit than their parental species. Yet hybridization can also be an adaptive management tool if rare populations are inbred and have reduced genetic variation, and ther...
Article
Unlike genomes, which are static throughout the lifespan of an organism, DNA methylomes are dynamic. To study these dynamics, we developed quantitative models that measure the effect of multiple factors on DNA methylomes including, age, sex, weight, and genetics. We conducted our study in canids, which prove to be an ideal species to assess epigene...
Preprint
Full-text available
Cooperatively breeding species exhibit numerous strategies to avoid mating with close relatives, inherently reducing effective population size. For species of management concern, accurate estimates of inbreeding and trait depression are crucial for the species's future. We utilized genomic and pedigree data for Yellowstone National Park gray wolves...
Article
Full-text available
Wide-ranging animals, including migratory species, are significantly threatened by the effects of habitat fragmentation and habitat loss. In the case of terrestrial mammals, this results in nearly a quarter of species being at risk of extinction. Caribou are one such example of a wide-ranging, migratory, terrestrial, and endangered mammal. In popul...
Article
Genetic mechanisms determining habitat selection and specialization of individuals within species have been hypothesized, but not tested at the appropriate individual level in nature. In this work, we analyzed habitat selection for 139 GPS‐collared caribou belonging to three declining ecotypes sampled throughout Northwestern Canada. We used Resourc...
Article
Full-text available
Domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) are the most variable-sized mammalian species on Earth, displaying a 40-fold size difference between breeds. Although dogs of variable size are found in the archeological record, the most dramatic shifts in body size are the result of selection over the last two centuries, as dog breeders selected and propagat...
Preprint
Full-text available
The last red wolves were captured along the Gulf Coast in 1980, where they hybridized with coyote, to establish the captive breeding population. However, red wolf ancestry persists in local coyotes and could be leveraged by genomic innovations to support species persistence. We assessed genomic ancestry and morphology of coyotes in southwestern Lou...
Article
Admixture and introgression play a critical role in adaptation and genetic rescue that has only recently gained a deeper appreciation. Here, we explored the geographic and genomic landscape of cryptic ancestry of the endangered red wolf that persists within the genome of a ubiquitous sister taxon, the coyote, all the while the red wolf has been ext...
Article
Full-text available
There is arguably no other North American species that better illustrates the complexities of the human-wildlife interface than the coyote. In this study, a melanistic coyote in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia was exhibiting unusually bold behaviors that included encounters with humans, domestic dogs, and attempts to enter homes. After tracking this...
Article
Although we know that dogs evolved from wolves, it remains unclear how domestication affected dog cognition. One hypothesis suggests dog domestication altered social maturation by a process of selecting for an attraction to humans.1, 2, 3 Under this account, dogs became more flexible in using inherited skills to cooperatively communicate with a new...
Article
Full-text available
The host-associated microbiome is an important player in the ecology and evolution of species. Despite growing interest in the medical, veterinary, and conservation communities, there remain numerous questions about the primary factors underlying microbiota, particularly in wildlife. We bridged this knowledge gap by leveraging microbial, genetic, a...
Article
In North American gray wolves, black coat color is dominantly inherited via a 3 base pair coding deletion in the canine beta defensin 3 (CBD103) gene. This 3 base pair deletion, called the KB allele, was introduced through hybridization with dogs and subsequently underwent a selective sweep that increased its frequency in wild wolves. Despite appar...
Preprint
Environmental change, such as increased rates of urbanization, can induce shifts in phenotypic plasticity with some individuals adapting to city life while others are displaced. A key trait that can facilitate adaptation is the degree at which animals respond to stress. This stress response has a heritable component and exhibits intra- and inter-in...
Preprint
Full-text available
Admixture and introgression play a critical role in adaptation and genetic rescue that has only recently gained a deeper appreciation. Here, we explored the geographic and genomic landscape of cryptic ancestry of the endangered red wolf that persists within the genome of a ubiquitous sister taxon, the coyote, all the while the red wolf has been ext...
Article
Full-text available
Population genetic theory posits that molecular variation buffers against disease risk. Although this “monoculture effect” is well supported in agricultural settings, its applicability to wildlife populations remains in question. In the present study, we examined the genomics underlying individual‐level disease severity and population‐level consequ...
Preprint
Full-text available
In North American gray wolves, black coat color is dominantly inherited via a three base pair coding deletion in the canine beta defensin 3 ( CBD103 ) gene. This three base pair deletion, called the K B allele, was introduced through hybridization with dogs and subsequently underwent a selective sweep that increased its frequency in wild wolves. De...
Article
Full-text available
Recent advances in genomics have increased our understanding of geographic patterns of intraspecific variation and the importance of this variation in enhancing species’ potential to adapt to novel threats. However, as part of an effort to limit the scope of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the US government has proposed the removal of the gray wo...
Article
The red wolf (Canis rufus), a legally recognized and severely endangered wolf, is known to interbreed with coyotes (C. latrans). Declared extirpated in the wild in 1980, red wolves were reintroduced to North Carolina nearly a decade later. Interbreeding with coyotes was thought to be restricted to a narrow geographic region adjacent to the reintrod...
Article
This bibliography provides a collection of references that documents the evolution of studies evidencing interbreeding among Canis species in North America. Over the past several decades, advances in biology and genomic technology greatly improved our ability to detect and characterize species interbreeding, which has significance for understanding...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Within the Culex pipiens mosquito complex, there are six contemporarily recognized taxa: Cx. quinquefasciatus, Cx. pipiens f. pipiens, Cx. pipiens f. molestus, Cx. pipiens pallens, Cx. australicus and Cx. globocoxitus. Many phylogenetic aspects within this complex have eluded resolution, such as the relationship of the two Australian e...
Article
Aggression is a quantitative trait deeply entwined with individual fitness. Mapping the genomic architecture underlying such traits is complicated by complex inheritance patterns, social structure, pedigree information, and gene pleiotropy. Here, we leveraged the pedigree of a reintroduced population of gray wolves in Yellowstone National Park, Wyo...
Article
The host‐associated microbiome is increasingly recognized as a critical player in health and immunity. Recent studies have shown that disruption of commensal microbial communities can contribute to disease pathogenesis and severity. Santa Catalina Island foxes (Urocyon littoralis catalinae) present a compelling system in which to examine microbial...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Sarcoptic mange is a highly contagious skin disease caused by the ectoparasitic mite Sarcoptes scabiei. Although it afflicts over 100 mammal species worldwide, sarcoptic mange remains a disease obscured by variability at the individual, population and species levels. Amid this variability, it is critical to identify consistent drivers...
Article
Variation across dog breeds presents a unique opportunity to investigate the evolution and biological basis of complex behavioural traits. We integrated behavioural data from more than 14 000 dogs from 101 breeds with breed-averaged genotypic data (n = 5697 dogs) from over 100 000 loci in the dog genome. We found high levels of among-breed heritabi...
Preprint
Sarcoptic mange is a highly contagious skin disease caused by the ectoparasitic mite, Sarcoptes scabiei. Although it afflicts over 100 mammal species worldwide, sarcoptic mange remains a disease obscured by variability at the individual, population, and species levels. Amid this variability, it is critical to identify consistent drivers of morbidit...
Article
Full-text available
Dogs are the most phenotypically diverse mammalian species, and they possess more known heritable disorders than any other non-human mammal. Efforts to catalog and characterize genetic variation across well-chosen populations of canines are necessary to advance our understanding of their evolutionary history and genetic architecture. To date, no or...
Article
Full-text available
Assistance dog training programs can see as many as 60% of their trainees dismissed. Many training programs utilize behavioral assays prior to admittance to identify likely successful candidates, yet such assays can be insconsistent. Recently, four canine retrotransposon mobile element insertions (MEIs) in or near genes WBSCR17 (Cfa6.6 and Cfa6.7),...
Preprint
The host-associated microbiome is increasingly recognized as a critical player in health and immunity. When commensal microbial communities are disrupted, dysbiosis can contribute to disease pathogenesis and severity. Santa Catalina Island foxes (Urocyon littoralis catalinae) present an ideal case study for examining dysbiosis in wildlife due to th...
Data
Examples of reviews and empirical studies examining parasite genetics across diverse taxa.
Data
Examples of wildlife disease management strategies that can be informed by integrative molecular techniques.
Data
Examples of epigenetic, microbial, and integrative molecular analyses informing our understanding of human disease.
Data
Examples of wildlife disease management strategies that can be informed by integrative molecular techniques.
Data
Examples of reviews and empirical studies on factors affecting host susceptibility.
Article
Full-text available
Prior to 1900, coyotes (Canis latrans) were restricted to the western and central regions of North America, but by the early 2000s, coyotes became ubiquitous throughout the eastern United States. Information regarding morphological and genetic structure of coyote populations in the southeastern United States is limited, and where data exist, they a...
Article
Full-text available
Theory predicts that range expansion results in genetic diversity loss in colonizing populations. Rapid reduction of population size exacerbates negative effects of genetic drift, while sustained isolation decreases neutral variation. Amid this demographic change, natural selection can act to maintain functional diversity. Thus, characterizing neut...
Article
Selection forces that favour different phenotypes in different environments can change frequencies of genes between populations along environmental clines. Clines are also compatible with balancing forces, such as negative frequency‐dependent selection (NFDS), which maintains phenotypic polymorphisms within populations. For example, NFDS is hypothe...
Article
Full-text available
Urbanization is driving environmental change on a global scale, creating novel environments for wildlife to colonize. Through a combination of stochastic and selective processes, urbanization is also driving evolutionary change. For instance, difficulty in traversing human‐modified landscapes may isolate newly established populations from rural sou...
Preprint
Full-text available
Variation across dog breeds presents a unique opportunity for investigating the evolution and biological basis of complex behavioral traits. We integrated behavioral data from more than 17,000 dogs from 101 breeds with breed-averaged genotypic data (N = 5,697 dogs) from over 100,000 loci in the dog genome. Across 14 traits, we found that breed diff...
Article
Full-text available
Rediscovering species once thought to be extinct or on the edge of extinction is rare. Red wolves have been extinct along the American Gulf Coast since 1980, with their last populations found in coastal Louisiana and Texas. We report the rediscovery of red wolf ghost alleles in a canid population on Galveston Island, Texas. We analyzed over 7000 si...
Article
Full-text available
Range expansion is a widespread biological process, with well‐described theoretical expectations associated with the colonization of novel ranges. However, comparatively few empirical studies address the genomic outcomes accompanying the genome‐wide consequences associated with the range expansion process, particularly in recent or ongoing expansio...
Article
Full-text available
The threatened eastern wolf is found predominantly in protected areas of central Ontario and has an evolutionary history obscured by interbreeding with coyotes and gray wolves, which challenges its conservation status and subsequent management. Here, we used a population genomics approach to uncover spatial patterns of variation in 281 canids in ce...
Article
Full-text available
Pyrenestes finches are unique among birds in showing a non-sex-determined polymorphism in bill size and are considered a textbook example of disruptive selection. Morphs breed randomly with respect to bill size, and differ in diet and feeding performance relative to seed hardness. Previous breeding experiments are consistent with the polymorphism b...