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University Resources


Fred Adler

Professor of Biology and of Mathematics

Ph.D. Cornell University


Graduate Program Membership:

Office/Building: Biol 319
Phone: 801-585-6202
Email: adler@math.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


  • D. D. Smith, J. S. Sperry, and F. R. Adler, Convergence in leaf size versus twig leaf area scaling: do plants optimize leaf area partitioning? Annals of Botany, 2016
  • A. B. Beams, D. J. A. Toth, K. Khader, and F. R. Adler, Harnessing intra-host strain competition to limit antibiotic resistance: Mathematical model results, Bull. Math. Biol., 78:1828-1846, 2016
  • F. R. Adler and T. G. Liou, The dynamics of disease progression in cystic fibrosis, PLoS ONE 11:e0156752, 2016
  • K. A. Brown, M. Jones, N. Daneman, F. R. Adler, V. Stevens, K. E. Nechodom, M. B. Goetz, M. H. Samore, and J. Mayer, Importation, Antibiotics, and Clostridium dicile Infection in Veteran Long-Term Care: A Multilevel Case Control Study, Annals of Internal Medicine, 2016
  • J. R. Moore and F. R. Adler, A mathematical model of T1D acceleration and delay by viral infection, Bull. Math. Biol., 78:500:530, 2016
  • S. Bhattacharyya and P. H. Gesteland and K. Korgenski and O. N. Bjornstad and Adler, F. R., Cross-immunity between strains explains the dynamical pat- tern of paramyxoviruses, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 112:13396-13400, 201.

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