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Maarten Vonhof

Maarten Vonhof
Associate Professor

Office: (269) 387-5626
Lab: (269) 387-5646

Office: 3431 Wood Hall, Mail Stop 5410
Lab: 3458 Haenicke Hall

Mailing Address
Department of Biological Sciences
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5410 USA

Research interests

Dr. Vonhof is an associate professor of Biological Sciences with a joint appointment in Environmental Studies. His main research interest is why there are so many species of organisms on our planet, and why certain groups have greater numbers of species than others. He is particularly interested in examining the relative role of the ecological, life history, and behavioral attributes of organisms and evolutionary processes in shaping patterns of divergence among populations and species. Within this broad framework he pursue studies in three main areas: 1) the genetic effects of social and mating behavior; 2) genetic population structure and phylogeography; and 3) host-parasite interactions. His work focuses on temperate and tropical bats and birds, which are ideal for my research as both groups are diverse and exhibit tremendous behavioral and ecological variation. He relates his findings on habitat use, dispersal, and social behavior to patterns of population differentiation at multiple spatial scales, ranging from local genetic variation among populations to range-wide patterns of phylogeography. In addition, he utilizes interactions among host and parasite life histories, behavior, and ecology to understand the key factors influencing adaptive immunogenetic variation in hosts, individual differences in parasite burden within populations, and variation in parasite species richness among host species. Finally, he takes every opportunity to apply his findings to the conservation genetics and management of the taxa he studies.

Students in Dr. Vonhof's laboratory