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Immune Ecology and

Conservation Physiology Lab

Papers published

  1. Guzmán-Solís A, Elorriaga-Verplancken FR, Acevedo-Whitehouse K (2023). Guadalupe fur seal alopecia: a metabolic syndrome associated with climatic anomalies? (under review).

  2. Domínguez-Sánchez C, Álvarez-Martínez RC, Gendron D, Acevedo-Whitehouse K (2022). Core respiratory microbiome of the blue whale, Balaenoptera musculus. (under review).

  3. Aparicio-Alonso M, Torres-Solórzano V,  Méndez-Contreras JF, Acevedo-Whitehouse K. (2023) Scanning Electron Microscopy and EDX Spectroscopy of Commercial Swabs Used for COVID-19 Lateral Flow Testing. Toxics 1(10), 805;

  4. Pereida-Aguilar JC, Barragán-Vargas C, Domínguez-Sánchez C, Álvarez-Martínez RC, Acevedo-Whitehouse K. Bacterial dysbiosis and epithelial status of the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) in the Gulf of California. Infect Genet Evol. 2023 Sep;113:105474. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2023.105474.

  5. Acevedo-Whitehouse K, Bruno R. (2023) Potential health risks of mRNA-based vaccine therapy: a hypothesis. Med Hypotheses. 111015. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2023.111015.

  6. Ortega-Ortiz CD, Meza Yañez R, Calleros Negrete BA, Sonten LGH, Liñán-Cabello MA, Olivos Ortiz A, Acevedo-Whitehouse K. (2022) Observations of Hypopigmented Dolphins Sighted in Mexican and Alaska Waters (2012-2013). Aquatic Mammals.

  7. Elorriaga-Verplancken FR, Hernández-Camacho CJ, Álvarez-Santamaría L, Paniagua-Mendoza A, Robles-Hernández R, Rebolledo-Villa F, Rosales-Nanduca H, Ramos-Rodríguez A, Acevedo-Whitehouse K (2022) Largest Mortality Event to Date of California Sea Lions in Mexico Might Be Linked to a Harmful Algal Bloom. Aquatic Mammals 48:59-67.

  8. Lopes F, Oliveira LR, Kessler A, Crespo E, Cárdenas-Alayza S, Majluf P, Sepúlveda M, Brownell Jr. RL, Franco-Trecu V, Páez-Rosas D, Chaves J, Loch C, Robertson BC, Acevedo-Whitehouse K, Elorriaga-Verplancken FR, Kirkman SP, Peart CR, Wolf JBW, Bonatto SL. (2021) Whole-Genome Phylogeny of the Eared Seals Reveals Explosive Radiation in the Southern Hemisphere with Massive Incomplete Lineage Sorting. Systematic Biology 70(4):786-802. doi: 10.1093/sysbio/syaa099.

  9. Gulland FMD, Hall AJ, Ylitalo GM, Colegrove KM, Norris T, Duignan PJ, Halaska B, Acevedo-Whitehouse K, Lowenstine LJ, Deming AC, Rowles TK. (2020) Persistent contaminants and herpesvirus OtHV1 are positively associated with cancer in wild California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) Frontiers in Marine Science.

  10. Morales-Durán N, Chavez C, Elorriaga-Verplanken FR, Acevedo-Whitehouse K (2020) Validation of a photogrammetric model to estimate the body mass of Northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) pups. Marine Mammal Science 36: 1042-1049. doi:

  11. Adame K, Elorriaga-Verplancken FR, Beier E, Acevedo-Whitehouse K, Pardo MA (2020) The demographic decline of a sea lion population followed multi-decadal sea surface warming. Scientific Reports 10, 10499.

  12. Aguilar T, Nava GM, Olvera-Ramírez AM, Ronquillo D, Camacho M, Zavala GA, Caamaño MC, Acevedo-Whitehouse K, Rosado JL, García OP (2020) Gut Bacterial Families Are Associated with Body Composition and Metabolic Risk Markers in School-Aged Children in Rural Mexico. Childhood Obesity. doi: 10.1089/chi.2019.0312

  13. Vendl, C., Slavich, E., Nelson, T., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Montgomery, K., Ferrari, B., Thomas, T., Rogers, T. (2020) Does sociality drive diversity and composition of airway microbiota in cetaceans? Environmental Microbiology Reports 12(3). doi: 10.1111/1758-2229.12835

  14. Farriols, M., Arellano-Carbajal, F., Elorriaga-Verplancken, F. R., Adame-Fernández, K., Garrido, E., Álvarez-Martínez, R.C., Bárcenas, R.T., Flores-Morán, A.E., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K. (2020) Filarial infections in California sea lions vary spatially within the Gulf of California, Mexico. Parasitology Research 119:1281-1290. doi: 10.1007/s00436-020-06638-y

  15. Stoffel, M.A., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Nami Morales-Durán, Grosser, S., Chakarov. N., Krüger, O., Nichols, H.J., Elorriaga-Verplancken, F.R., Hoffman, J.I. (2020) Early sexual dimorphism in the developing gut microbiome of northern elephant seals. Molecular Ecology 00:1-14. doi:

  16. Acevedo-Whitehouse K (2019) Physiological Thresholds in the Context of Marine Mammal Conservation. Exp Med Biol.1200:163-186. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-23633-5_6.

  17. Peñín, I., Figueroa-Cabañas, M.E., Guerrero-de la Rosa, F., Soto-García, L.A., Álvarez-Martínez, R., Flores-Morán, A., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K. (2019). Transcriptional Profiles of California Sea Lion Peripheral NK and CD+8 T Cells Reflect Ecological Regionalization and Infection by Oncogenic Viruses. Frontiers in Immunology 10:413. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.00413

  18. Morales-Guerrero, B.,  Gendron, D., Martinez-Levasseur, L.M., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K. (2019). Blue whale, Balaenoptera musculus, skin contains eumelanin and pheomelanin. Aquatic Mammals 45, 88-98. doi: 10.1578/AM.45.1.2019.88.

  19. Stoffel, M.A., Humble, E., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K. Chilvers, B.L., Dickerson, B., Galimberti F., Gemmell, N., Goldsworthy, S.D., Nichols, H.J, Krüger, O., Negro, S., Osborne, A., Paijmans, A.J., Pastor, T., Robertson, B.C. , Sanvito, S., Schultz, J., Shafer, A.B.A., Wolf, J.B.W., & Hoffman, J.I. (2018) Recent demographic histories and genetic diversity across pinnipeds are shaped by anthropogenic interactions and mediated by ecology and life-history. Nature Communications 9: 9:4836. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-06695-z

  20. Peñin, I., Levin, M., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Jasperse, L., Gebhard, E., Gulland, F.M.D., De Guise, S. (2018) Effects of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) on California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) lymphocyte functions upon in vivo exposure. Environmental Research 167: 708-717. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.08.028

  21. Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Cole, K.J., Philliips, D.H., Jepson, P.D., Deaville, R., Arlt, V.M. (2018) Hepatic DNA damage in Harbour Porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) Stranded along the English and Welsh Coastlines. Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis 59:613-624. doi: 10.1002/em.22205

  22. Domínguez-Sánchez, C.A., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Gendron, D. (2018) Effect of Drone-based blow sampling on blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) behaviour. Marine Mammal Science 34: 841-850. doi: 10.1111/mms.12482

  23. Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Gulland, F.M.D., Bowen, L. (2018) MHC class II DRB diversity predicts antigen recognition and is associated with disease severity in California sea lions naturally infected with Leptospira interrogans. Infection Genetics and Evolution 57: 158–165.

  24. Espinosa-de Aquino, W., Bailey, M., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K. (2017) Changes in mucosal and serum immunoglobulin levels of California sea lions during early development. Developmental and Comparative Immunology 77: 166e173.

  25. Flores-Morán, A., Banuet-Martínez, M., Elorriaga-Verplancken, F.R., García-Ortuño, L.E., Sandoval-Sierra, J., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K. (2017). Atypical red blood cells are prevalent in California sea lion pups born during anomalous sea surface temperature events. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 90: 564-574. doi: 10.1086/692919

  26. Banuet-Martinez, M., Espinosa-de Aquino, W., Elorriaga-Verplanken, F.R., Flores-Morán, A., García, O.P., Camacho, M., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K. (2017). Climatic anomaly affects the immune competence of California sea lion pups. PLoS ONE 12(6):e0179359. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179359. eCollection 2017.

  27. Elorrigaga-Verplancken, F.R., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K, (2017). Probable intersexual altruistic behavior in California sea lions. Aquatic Mammals 43: 208-212. doi:

  28. Espinosa-de Aquino, W., Olvera-Ramírez, A., Arellano-Carbajal, F., Lanz-Mendoza, H., Villagrán-Herrera, E., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K. (2017). Protein and RNA extraction from mucosal swabs: a minimally invasive source of ecological data for studies of natural populations Methods in Ecology and Evolution 8:370-378. doi: 10.1111/2041-210X.12680

  29. Morales-Guerrero, B., Barragán-Vargas, C., Silva-Rosales, G. R., Ortega-Ortiz, C. D., Gendron, D., Martinez-Levasseur, L. M., Acevedo-Whitehouse K (2017). Melanin granules melanophages and a fully-melanized epidermis are common traits of odontocete and mysticete cetaceans. Veterinary Dermatology 28:213-218. doi: 10.1111/vde.12392

  30. Elorriaga-Verplancken, F. R., Sierra-Rodriguez, G. E., Rosales-Nanduca, Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Sandoval-Sierra, J. (2016). Impact of the 2015 El Niño-Southern Oscillation on the abundance and foraging habits of Guadalupe fur seals and California sea lions from the San Benito Archipelago, Mexico. Plos One 1:16. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0155034

  31. Montano-Frías, J. E., Álvarez-Martinez, R. C., Flores-Morán, A. E., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K. (2016). MHC class II transcription is associated with inflammatory responses in a wild marine mammal. Infection Genetics and Evolution 42: 77-82. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2016.04.022

  32. Barragán-Vargas, C., Montano-Frías, J. E., Silva-Rosales, G. R., Godínez-Reyes, C. R., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K. (2016) Transformation of the genital epithelial tract occurs early during California sea lion development. Royal Society Open Science 3: 15041DOI: 10.1098/rsos.150419

  33. Brock, P. M., Goodman, S. J., Hall, A. J., Cruz. M., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K. (2015) Context dependent associations between heterozygosity andimmune variation in a wild carnivore. BMC Evolutionary Biology 15: 242.  doi:10.1186/s12862-015-0519-6

  34. Vera-Massieu, C. Brock P. M., Godinez-Reyes, C. R., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K. (2015) Activation of an inflammatory response is context-dependent during early development of the California sea lion. Royal Society Open Science 2:150108.

  35. Browning, H. M*., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K*., Gulland, F. M. D., Hall, A. J., Finlayson, J, Dagleish, M. P, Billington, K J, Colegrov,e K, Hammond, JA. (2014) Evidence for a genetic basis of urogenital cancer in the wild California sea lion. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B. 281. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.0240

  36. Martinez-Levasseur, L. M., Birch-Machin, M. A., Bowman, A., Gendron, D., Weatherhead, E., Knell, R. J., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K. (2013). Whales Use Distinct Strategies to Counteract Solar Ultraviolet Radiation. Scientific Reports 3:2386. DOI: 10.1038/srep02386

  37. Martinez-Levasseur, L. M., Gendron, D., Knell, R. J., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K. (2013) Control and target gene selection for studies on UV-induced genotoxicity in whales. BMC Research Notes 6:264 doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-6-264

  38. Brock, P. M., Hall, A. J., Goodman, S. J., Cruz, M., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K. (2013) Immune Activity, Body Condition and Human-Associated Environmental Impacts in a Wild Marine Mammal. PLoS ONE 8(6). e67132. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0067132

  39. Bowman, A., Martinez-Levasseur, L. M., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Gendron, D., Birch-Machin, M. A. (2013) The simultaneous detection of mitochondrial DNA damage from sun-exposed skin of three whale species and its association with UV-induced microscopic lesions and apoptosis. Mitochondrion pii: S1567-7249(13)00066-4. doi: 10.1016/j.mito.2013.04.003

  40. Jepson, P.D., Deaville, R., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Barnett, J., Brownlow, A., Brownell Jr, R. L., Clare, F. C., Davison, N., Law, R.J., Loveridge, J, Macgregor S.K., Morris, S., Murphy, S.,  Penrose, S., Perkins, M.W., Pinn, E., Seibel H., Siebert, U., Sierra E., Simpson, V., Tasker, M.L., Tregenza ,N.,  Cunningham, A.A., Fernández, A. (2013) What caused the UK’s largest common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) mass stranding event? PLoS ONE 8(4): e60953. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060953

  41. Pettorelli, N., Evans, D: M., Garner, T. W. J., Katzner, T., Gompper, M. E.,  Altwegg, R., Branch, T. A., Johnson, J. A., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., DaVolls, L.,, Rantanen, E., Gordon, I. J. (2013) Addressing gender imbalances in Animal Conservation. Animal Conservation 16: 131-133 doi:10.1111/acv.12032

  42. Brock, P., Hall, A., Goodman, S., Cruz, M., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K. (2013) Applying the tools of ecological immunology to conservation: a test case in the Galapagos sea lion. Animal Conservation 16(1): 19-31. doi:10.1111/j.1469-1795.2012.00567.x

  43. Gordon, I. J., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Altwegg, R., Garner, T. W. J., Gompper, M. E., Katzner, T. E., Pettorelli, N., Redpath, S. (2012) What the ‘food security’ agenda means for animal conservation in terrestrial ecosystems. Animal Conservation 15(2): 115-116. doi:10.1111/j.1469-1795.2012.00541.x

  44. Lima, N., Rogers, T., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Brown, M. V. (2012). Temporal stability and species specificity of bacteria associated with the bottlenose dolphin respiratory system. Environmental Microbiology Reports 1-8. doi:10.1111/j.1758-2229.2011.00306.x

  45. Branch, T. A., Austin, J., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Gordon, I. J., Gompper, M. E., Katzner, T. E. & Pettorelli, N. (2011). Fisheries conservation and management: finding consensus in the midst of competing paradigms. Animal Conservation 14(6): 1-3.

  46. Werner, R.., Forcada, J., Bertellotti, M., Crespo, E. A., Dans, S., Degrati, Y., Fazio, A., Grandi, M. F., Loizaga, R., Coscarello, M., Bossio, L., Carribero, A., Geremias, N., Lindner, M. S., Romina, E., Rosas, C. L., Sironi, M., Taboada, D., Guiland, F., Reeves, R. R., Groch, K., Krapovickas, S., Conchillo, D., Chirife, A., Rowntree, V. l , Thomas, P. O., Brownell, R. L., Rowles, T., Harris, G., Mcaloose, D., Uhart, M., Vila, A., Rosenbaum, H., Moore, M., Jepson, P., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K. (2011) Report of the Southern Right Whale die-off workshop. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 12, SUPPL: 367-398.

  47. Donnelly, R. E., Katzner, T., Gordon I. J., Gompper, M. E. Redpath, S., Garner, T. W. J., Altwegg, R., Reed, D. H., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Pettorelli, N. (2011) Putting the eco back in ecotourism. Animal Conservation. 14, 325-327.

  48. Martinez-Levasseur, L. M., Gendron, D., Knell, R. J., O’Toole, E. A., Singh, M., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K. (2011) Acute sun damage and photoprotective responses in whales. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 278: 1581-1586.

  49. González-Hernández, M, Denoël, M, Duffus, A. J. L., Garner, T. W. J., Cunningham, A. A., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K. (2010) Dermocystid infection and associated skin lesions in free-living palmate newts (Lissotriton helveticus) from Southern France. Parasitology International. 59: 344-350.

  50. Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Rocha-Gosselin, A., Gendron, D. (2010) A novel non-invasive tool for disease surveillance of free ranging whales and its relevance to conservation programmes. Animal Conservation 13, 217-225.

  51. Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Duffus, L. J. A. (2009) Effects of environmental change on wildlife health. Philosophical Transactions Royal Society B 364: 3429-3438.

  52. Estrada-Pena, A., Naranjo, V., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Mangold, A. J., Kocan, K. M., de la Fuente, J. (2009) Phylogeographic analysis reveals association of tick-borne pathogen, Anaplasma marginale, MSP1a sequences with ecological traits affecting tick vector performance. BMC Biology 7: 57.

  53. Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Petetti, L., Duignan, P., Castinel, A. (2009) Hookworm infection, anaemia and genetic variability of the New Zealand sea lion. Proceedings Royal Society B 276: 3523-3529.

  54. Acevedo-Whitehouse, K. (2009) The importance of disease management programs for wildlife conservation. Animal Conservation. 12: 185-186.

  55. Smith, K.F., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Pederson, A. (2009) The role of infectious diseases in biological conservation. Animal Conservation 12: 1-12.

  56. Amos, W., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K. (2009) A new test for genotype – fitness associations reveals a single microsatellite allele that strongly predicts the nature of tuberculosis infections in wild boar. Molecular Ecology Resources 9:1102-1111.

  57. Naranjo, V., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Vicente, J., Gortazar, C., de la Fuente, J. (2008) Influence of methylmalonyl-CoA mutase alleles on resistance to bovine tuberculosis in the European wild boar (Sus scrofa) . Animal Genetics 39: 316-320.

  58. Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Cunningham, A. (2006) Is MHC enough for understanding wildlife immunogenetics? Trends in Ecology and Evolution 21: 433-438.

  59. Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Spraker, T. R., Lyons, E., Melin, S. R., Gulland, F., DeLong, R. L., Amos, W. (2006) Contrasting Effects of Heterozygosity and Survival and Hookworm Resistance in California Sea Lion Pups. Molecular Ecology 15:1973-1982

  60. Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Vicente, J., Höfle, U., Fernández de Mera, I. G., Amos, W.  Gortazar, C. (2005) Genetic resistance to bovine tuberculosis in wild boars. Molecular Ecology 14:3209-3217.

  61. Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Gulland, F., Greig, D., Amos, W. (2003) Inbreeding: Disease susceptibility in California sea lions. Nature 422:35.

  62. Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., de la Cueva, H., Gulland, F. M., Aurioles-Gamboa, D.,  Arellano-Carbajal, F., Suárez-Güemes, F. (2003) Evidence of Leptospira interrogans infection in California sea lion pups from the Gulf of California. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 39:145-151.

  63. Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Constantino-Casas, F., Aurioles-Gamboa, D., Rodríguez-Martínez, H. A., Godínez-Reyes, C. R. (1999) Hepatic carcinoma with spleen metastasis in a California sea lion from the Gulf of California. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 35: 565-568.

Book chapters

  • Elorriaga-Verplancken FR, Acevedo-Whitehouse K, Norris T, Gutierrez-Gutierrez A, Amador-Capitanachi MJ, Juárez-Ruiz AE, Sandoval-Sierra J, Galvez C, Moreno-Sánchez XG (2021) Guadalupe Fur Seals and California Sea Lions: Two Sympatric Otariids from the California Current Ecosystem. In: Ethology and Behavioral Ecology of Otariids and the Odobenid. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-59184-7_28

  • Elorriaga-Verplancken FR, Norris T, Acevedo-Whitehouse K, Norris T, Galvez C, Amador-Capitanachi MJ, Landa-Garza L (2021) Guadalupe Fur Seal (Arctocephalus philippii townsendi). In: Ecology and Conservation of Pinnipeds in Latin America. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-63177-2_5

  • Acevedo-Whitehouse K (2019) Physiological Thresholds in the Context of Marine Mammal Conservation. Exp Med Biol.1200:163-186. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-23633-5_6.

  • Acevedo-Whitehouse K, Bowen L. (2018). Genetics. In: CRC Handbook of Marine Mammal Medicine (Dierauf, L., Gulland, F.M.D.) CRC Press, New York. 1124 pp. ISBN 9781498796873

  • Acevedo-Whitehouse K, Soto-García L. (2017). Emerging Pathogens and Health Issues in the 21st Century: A Challenge for Tropical and Subtropical Pinnipeds. In: Tropical Pinnipeds. CRC Press. 325 pp. ISBN 9781498741392

  • Martínez-Levasseur LM, Gendron D, .Knell RJ, O’Toole EA, Singh M, Bowman A, Birch-Machin M, Acevedo-Whitehouse K (2013). Responses to acute sun exposure in large whales. McGraw Hill Yearbook of Science and Technology. McGraw Hill Education 459 pp.

  • Ewen J, Acevedo-Whitehouse K, Alley M, Carraro C, Sainsbury A, Swinnerton A, Woodroffe R (2012). Chapter 9: Empirical consideration of parasites and health in reintroduction. En: Reintroduction biology: current issues for science and management. Wiley-Blackwell.

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