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University Resources


Fred Adler

Professor of Biology and of Mathematics | Director, School of Biological Sciences

Ph.D. Cornell University


Graduate Program Membership:

Office/Building: Biol 222, 319
Phone: 801-585-6202
Email: director@biology.utah.edu, fred.adler@biology.utah.edu
Adler Lab: https://adler.biology.utah.edu/

Research Statement


Much research in our group focuses on viruses: where ecology, evolution and immunology meet. We have recently begun a study of the rhinoviruses, the most common cause of the common cold, to understand simultaneously their extreme diversity, low virulence, and peculiar pattern of seasonal abundance. Using mathematical models based on known interactions with the immune system and genetic sequences, we have begun building detailed evolutionary models of this rapidly change set of viruses. More broadly, we use mathematical models to understand the dynamics of complex systems, such as the immune system, ant colonies, and even urban ecosystems.

Research Interests


General Interests
Specific Interests
  • Mathematical Biology
  • Evolutionary ecology and epidemiology of viruses
  • Ant behavioral ecology
  • Theory of coexistence and biodiversity

Selected Publications


  • A. Beams, R. Bateman, and F. Adler. Will SARS-CoV-2 Become Just Another Seasonal Coronavirus? Viruses, 2021.
  • F. R. Adler, A. Green, and C. H. Sekercioglu, Citizen science in ecology: A place for humans in nature. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1469:52--64, 2020.
  • T. G. Liou, C. Kartsonaki, R. H. Keogh, and F. R. Adler, Evaluation of a five-year predicted survival model for cystic fibrosis in later time periods. Scientific Reports, (accepted), 2020.
  • F. R. Adler and D. M. Gordon, Cancer ecology and evolution: Positive interactions and system vulnerability. Current Opinion in Systems Biology, 17:1-7, 2019.
  • F. R. Adler, S. Quinonez, N. Plowes, and E. S. Adams, A mechanistic model of ant battles and its consequences for territory scaling, American Naturalist, 92, 2018.

Courses Taught


  • Biol 5910: Mathematical Modeling in Biology
  • Math 1170/1180: Calculus for biologists
  • Math 5110/5120: Mathematical biology
  • Biology 6500: Advanced Statistical Modeling in Biology
  • Math 6780: Advanced Mathematical Biology
  • Math 5750/Biol 5960/Engl 5050: Science and Literature