Biology Faculty: Wendy Turner

Wendy Turner

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
PhD, University of California, Berkeley

Office BI327
Lab BI342
Telephone (518) 442-4208
Fax (518) 437-4456

Areas of Interest

  • Disease ecology
  • Host-parasite interactions
  • Animal ecology and behavior
  • Pathogen ecology and evolution



My lab does research on the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases, currently focused on environmentally-transmitted and vector-borne parasites/pathogens. We study ecological, behavioral and genetic factors affecting disease transmission, including host-pathogen interactions, host susceptibility, and pathogen persistence in the environment, and how together these contribute to outbreak seasonality and long-term patterns in disease dynamics within and among host species.

zebrasI have a long-term research site in Etosha National Park, Namibia, studying the anthrax bacterium, Bacillus anthracis, infecting herbivorous wildlife. At UAlbany, my lab is developing additional study systems looking at the ecology and evolution of vector-borne diseases in New York State and the surrounding areas.

For additional details on research projects, people and opportunities, see the Turner Lab website:



  • W.C. Turner, M. Küsters, W. Versfeld & I. Horak. 2016. Ixodid tick diversity on wild mammals, birds, and reptiles in and around Etosha National Park, Namibia, African Journal of Ecology
  • Valseth, K., C.L. Nesbø, W.R. Easterday, W.C. Turner, J.S. Olsen, N.C. Stenseth, T.H.A. Haverkamp. 2016. Draft genomes of two Bacillus anthracis strains from Etosha National Park, Namibia, Genome Announcements, 4(4): e00861-16.
  • Turner, W.C., B.L. Penzhorn & W.M. Getz. 2016. Description of three new species of Eimeria (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) in Namibia, Comparative Parasitology, 83(2): 202-211.
  • Turner. W.C., K.L. Kausrud, W. Beyer, W.R. Easterday, Z.R. Barandongo, E. Blaschke, C.C. Cloete, J. Lazak, H.H. Ganz, M.N. Van Ert, P.C.B. Turnbull, N.C. Stenseth & W.M. Getz. 2016. Lethal exposure: An integrated approach to pathogen transmission via environmental reservoirs, Scientific Reports, 6:27311.
  • Cizauskas, C.A., W.C. Turner, N.I. Pitts, W.M. Getz. 2015. Seasonal patterns of hormones, macroparasites and microparasites in wild African ungulates: the interplay between stress, reproduction and disease. PLoS ONE, 10:e0120800.
  • Cizauskas, C. A., W.C. Turner, B. Wagner, M. Küsters, R.E. Vance, W.M. Getz. 2014. Gastrointestinal helminths may affect host susceptibility to anthrax through seasonal immune trade-offs, BMC Ecology, 14:27.
  • Turner, W.C., K.L. Kausrud, Y.S. Krishnappa, J.P.G.M. Cromsigt, H.H. Ganz, I. Mapaure, C.C. Cloete, Z. Havarua, M. Küsters, W.M. Getz, N.C. Stenseth. 2014. Fatal attraction: vegetation responses to nutrient inputs attract herbivores to infectious anthrax carcass sites, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281: 20141785.
  • Krishnappa, Y.S. & W.C. Turner. 2014. Software for minimalistic data management in large camera trap studies, Ecological Informatics, 24: 11-16.
  • Ganz, H.H., W.C. Turner, E.L. Brodie, M. Küsters, Y. Shi, H. Sibanda, T. Torok and W.M. Getz. 2014. Interactions between Bacillus anthracis and plants may promote anthrax transmission, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 8(6): e2903.
  • Kamath, P.L., W.C. Turner, M. Küsters, & W.M. Getz. 2014. Parasite-mediated selection drives an immunogenetic trade-off in plains zebra (Equus quagga), Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281: 20140077.
  • Havarua, Z., W.C. Turner, J.K.E. Mfune. 2014. Seasonal variation in foraging behavior of plains zebras (Equus quagga) may alter contact with the anthrax bacterium (Bacillus anthracis), Canadian Journal of Zoology, 92: 331-337.
  • Cizauskas, C.A., S.E. Bellan, W.C. Turner, R.E. Vance, W.M. Getz. 2014. Frequent and seasonally variable sublethal anthrax infections are accompanied by short-lived immunity in an endemic system, Journal of Animal Ecology, 83: 1078-1090.
  • Lyons, A.J., W.C. Turner, & W.M. Getz. 2013. Home range plus: A space-time characterization of movement over real landscapes, Movement Ecology, 1:2.
  • Turner, W.C., P. Imologhome, Z. Havarua, G.P. Kaaya, J.K.E. Mfune, I.D.T. Mpofu & W.M. Getz. 2013. Soil ingestion, nutrition and the seasonality of anthrax in herbivores of Etosha National Park, Ecosphere, 4(1): art13.
  • Beyer, W., S. Bellan, G. Eberle, H.H. Ganz, W.M. Getz, R. Haumacher, K.A. Hilss, W. Kilian, J. Lazak, W.C. Turner & P.C.B. Turnbull. 2012. Distribution and molecular evolution of Bacillus anthracis genotypes in Namibia, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 6(3): e1534.
  • Turner, W.C., W.D. Versfeld, J.W. Kilian & W.M. Getz. 2012. Synergistic effects of seasonal rainfall, parasites and demography on fluctuations in springbok body condition, Journal of Animal Ecology, 81: 58-69.
  • Thurber, M.I., C.E. O’Connell-Rodwell, W.C. Turner, K. Nambandi, C. Kinzley, T.C. Rodwell, C.T. Faulkner, S.A. Felt & D.M. Bouley. 2011. Effects of rainfall, host demography and musth on strongyle fecal egg counts in African elephants (Loxodonta africana) in Namibia, Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 47(1): 172-181.
  • Turner, W.C. & W.M. Getz. 2010. Seasonal and demographic factors influencing gastrointestinal parasitism in ungulates of Etosha National Park, Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 46(4): 1108-1119.
  • Turner, W.C., C.A. Cizauskas, & W.M. Getz. 2010. Variation in fecal water content may bias quantitative estimates of parasite intensity in wild African herbivores, Journal of Helminthology, 84: 99-105.
  • Jolles, A.E., V.O. Ezenwa, R.S. Etienne, W.C. Turner, & H. Olff. 2008. Interactions between macroparasites and microparasites drive patterns of infection in free-ranging African buffalo, Ecology, 89(8): 2239-2250.
  • Clegg, S. & Wildlife Anthrax Epizootic Workshop Working Group1. Preparedness for anthrax epizootics in wildlife areas [conference summary]. Emerging Infectious Diseases [serial on the Internet]. 2006 Jul [date cited] Available from
  • Working Group: W. Amanfu, R. Bengis, W. Beyer, C. Cizauskas, B. Clegg, S. Clegg, V. de Vos, H. Ebedes, C. Foggin, S. Hargreaves, M. Hofmeyr, A. Kaufmann, M. Kock, R. Kock, F. Leendertz, R. Leuenberger, P. Lindeque, N. Marano, P. Morkel, C. Pereira, P. Turnbull, W. Turner, & C. Wenham
  • Turner, W.C., A.E. Jolles, & N. Owen-Smith. 2005. Alternating sexual segregation during the mating season by male African buffalo (Syncerus caffer), Journal of Zoology, 267: 291-299.