Tony Wilson

Tony Wilson
E-Mail: twilson*
Phone: 1 718 951 5000 x6953
 Fax: 1 718 951 4659
Department of Biology
Brooklyn College
City University of New York

Ingersoll 411NE
2900 Bedford Avenue

11210, Brooklyn, NY
United States

Diversity of male brooding structures
among syngnathid fishes

(a) Weedy seadragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus) brooding eggs in unprotected egg-compartments; (b) Pot-bellied seahorse (Hippocampus abdominalis) giving birth from enclosed brood pouch.  Photos courtesy of Rudie Kuiter. 




BROOKLYN COLLEGE, Brooklyn, United States

             Associate Professor, Evolutionary Biology (2013-)

UNIVERSITY OF ZURICH, Zurich, Switzerland

    Assistant Professor, Evolution and Biodiversity (2005-2013)
    National Research Council Research Associate (2002-2004)



    Ph.D. (Biology) - 2002 (Advisor: Dr. Axel Meyer)
    Thesis: Molecular investigations of speciation in the sea – Comparing patterns of diversification in freshwater and marine organisms  

UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH, Guelph, Ontario, Canada 
    MSc (Zoology) - 1998 (Advisor: Dr. Elizabeth Boulding) 
    Thesis: Dispersal Patterns of Dreissena bugensis in the Laurentian Great Lakes as Inferred from Highly Polymorphic Microsatellite Markers

ACADIA UNIVERSITY, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada 
    BSc(Hons.) - 1996 (Advisor: Dr. Marlene Snyder) 
    Major: Biology; Minors: Physics, Math 
    Research Project: Genetic Investigations of Corophium volutator (Pallas, 1766) Leach in the North Atlantic 

  • 2001: Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) - International Student Award
  • 1997-98: Ontario Graduate Scholarship
  • 1996-97: University of Guelph - University Graduate Scholarship
  • 1996: Acadia University - University Scholar

  • 2017: US National Science Foundation: "REU: Brooklyn Urban Ecology and Environment Program" (US$349,997)
  • 2017: US National Science Foundation: "DDIG: Isolating a Mechanism for Microbial-Host Local Adaptation" (US$20,294)
  • 2015: Waitt Foundation - "Genetic Evaluation of a Dramatic Population Collapse Associated with Coastal Warming" (US$9,840)
  • 2015: PSC-CUNY Research Grant - "Endocrinological Control and the Evolution of Male Pregnancy" (US$6,000)
  • 2015: Student Technology Grant - "The Use of Genomic Tools in Undergraduate Education" (US$10,000)
  • 2011: Swiss National Scence Foundation - "The Evolution of Reproductive Complexity in Syngnathid Fishes" (SFr. 250,000)
  • 2008: European Science Foundation THERMADAPT - "“Climate-Mediated Reproductive Variation in Pipefish (Syngnathus typhle) (€1045)
  • 2006: Swiss National Scence Foundation - "Bergmann's Rule in Ectotherms: Sexual vs. Fecundity Selection" (SFr. 260,000)
  • 2006: Stiftung für wissenschaftliche Forschung - "Gen-Expression während der männlichen Schwangerschaft in Pfeifenfischen (Synganthidae: Seenadeln und Seepferdchen)" (SFr. 20,000)
  • 2005: European Science Foundation CONGEN – “Global climate change and reproductive biology of nearshore fishes” (€910)
  • 2002: National Research Council Research Associateship "Molecular approaches to the study of sexual selection in syngnathid fishes"  (US$84,500)
  •  1999: Conchologists of America Grants - "Evolution of Lake Tanganyika Gastropoda: A Predator/Prey Model of Coevolution?" (US$1,000)
  •  1999: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council - PGSB "Evolution of Lake Tanganyika Gastropoda: A Predator/Prey Model of Coevolution?" (C$38,200)
    Colloqium (BIOL7910G), Ecology (BIOL3083), Evolutionary Biology (BIOL3007W), Genetics, Heredity, Marine Biology & Oceanography (Field Course), Marine Biology, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (BIO222/ BIOL5020), Population Ecology, Principles of Evolutionary Biology (BIO364), Speciation and Phylogeny (BIO226) 


    1997: Assistant to the Editors -  Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario 


Animal Behaviour, Austrian Academy of Science (AT), Behavioral Ecology, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Biological Invasions, Biological Journal of the Linnaean Society, Biology Letters, BMC Genomics, Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Current Biology, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DE), Environmental Biology of Fishes, Ethology, Evolution, Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (PT), Genome Biology and Evolution, Heredity, Hydrobiologia, Journal of Applied Ichthyology, Journal of Biogeography, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Journal of Experimental Biology, Journal of Fish Biology, Journal of Heredity, Journal of Molecular Evolution, Journal of Molluscan Studies, Marine and Freshwater Research, Marine Biology, Marine Ecology Progress Series, Molecular Biology and Evolution, Molecular Ecology, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, National Environmental Research Council (UK), National Geographic Society (US), National Science Foundation (US), Nature, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NL), Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Public Library of Science ONE, Reproduction, Fertility and Development, Simulation Modeling: Practice and Theory, Royal Society Open Science, Swiss National Science Foundation (CH), Trends in Ecology and Evolution


             European Society for Evolutionary Biology, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Society for Molecular Biology and                          Evolution, Society for the Study of Evolution, Society of Systematic Biologists, Swiss Zoological Society

  1. Wang S, Liu C, Wilson AB, Li X, Zhu W, Gao X, Liu X, Li Y (2017) Pathogen richness and abundance predict patterns of adaptive MHC variation in insular amphibians. Molecular Ecology, 26, 4671-4685, 10.1111/mec.14242.
  2. Wilson AB (2017) MHC and adaptive immunity in teleost fishes. Immunogenetics, 69, 521–528, 10.1007/s00251-017-1009-3.
  3. Bürkli A, Wilson AB (2017) Explaining high-diversity death assemblages: Undersampling of the living community, out-of-habitat transport, time-averaging of rare taxa, and local extinction. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 466, 174–183.
  4. Whittington CM, Griffith OW, Qi W, Thompson MB, Wilson AB (2015) Seahorse brood pouch transcriptome reveals common genes
    associated with vertebrate pregnancy. Molecular Biology and Evolution,  32(12), 3114–3131.
  5. Wilson AB, Whittington CM, Bahr A (2014)  High intralocus variability and interlocus recombination promote immunological diversity in a minimal major histocompatibility system. BMC Evolutionary Biology14, 273.
  6. Ejsmond MJ, Radwan J, Wilson AB (2014)  Sexual selection and the evolution of the major histocompatibility complex. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 281, 20141662.
  7. Fehr A, Walther E, Schmidt-Posthaus H, Nufer L, Wilson AB, Segner H, Pospischi A, Vaughn L (2013) Candidatus Syngnamydia venezia, a novel member of the phylum Chlamydiae and a potential model for host-pathogen coevolution.  PLoS One, 8(8), e70853.
  8. Whittington CM, Wilson AB (2013) The role of prolactin in fish reproduction.  General and Comparative Endocrinology, 191, 123-136.
  9. Whittington CM, Musolf K, Sommer S, Wilson AB (2013) Behavioral cues of reproductive status in seahorses (Hippocampus
    ).  Journal of Fish Biology, 83, 220-226.
  10. Mwale M, Kaiser H, Barker N, Wilson AB, Teske PW (2013) Identification of a uniquely southern African clade of coastal pipefishes (Syngnathus spp.).  Journal of Fish Biology, 82, 2045-2062.
  11. Sommer S, Whittington CM, Wilson AB (2012) Standardized classification of early development in male-pregnant pipefish, seahorses,
    and seadragons (Family Syngnathidae).  BMC Developmental Biology,
    12, 39.
  12. Bahr A, Sommer S, Mattle B, Wilson AB (2012) Mutual mate choice in the potbellied seahorse (Hippocampus abdominalis).  Behavioral Ecology, DOI: 10.1093/beheco/ars045.
  13. Bahr A, Wilson AB (2012) The evolution of MHC diversity: Evidence of intralocus gene conversion and recombination in a single-locus system.  Gene, 497, 52-57.
  14. Winkler JD, Stolting KN, Wilson AB (2012) Sex-specific responses to fecundity selection in the broad-nosed pipefish. Evolutionary
    , 26, 701-714.
  15. Bahr A, Wilson AB (2011) The impact of sex-role reversal on the diversity of the major histocompatibility complex: Insights from the seahorse (Hippocampus abdominalis). BMC Evolutionary Biology, 11, 121.
  16. Wilson AB, Orr JW (2011) The evolutionary origins of Syngnathidae: Pipefishes and seahorses.  Journal of Fish Biology, 78, 1603-1623.
  17. Stölting KN, Meudt HM, Clarke AC, Blanckenhorn WU, Wilson AB (2011) Cost-effective fluorescent amplified fragment length
    polymorphism analyses.  Molecular Ecology Notes, 11, 494-502.
  18. Hablützel P, Wilson AB (2011) Notes on the occurrence of Syngnathus rostellatus Nilsson, 1855 (Teleostei, Syngnathidae) in the Mediterranean. Marine Biodiversity Records4, e57.
  19. Wilson AB Eigenmann Veraguth I (2010) The impact of Pleistocene glaciation across the range of a widespread European coastal
    species. Molecular Ecology, 19, 4535-4553.
  20. Stoelting KN, Gort G, Wüst C, Wilson AB (2009) Eukaryotic transcriptomics in silico: Optimizing cDNA AFLP efficiency.  BMC Genomics, 10, 565.
  21. Mattle B, Wilson AB (2009) Body size preferences in the pot-bellied seahorse Hippocampus abdominalis: Choosy males and
    indiscriminate females
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 10, 1403-1411.
  22. Wilson AB (2009) Opening Pandora’s Box: Comparative studies of genetic mating systems reveal reproductive complexity.  Molecular Ecology, 18, 1307-1309.
  23. Wilson AB (2009) Fecundity selection predicts Bergmann’s rule in syngnathid fishes.  Molecular Ecology, 18, 1263-1272.
  24. Wilson AB, Teugels GG, Meyer A (2008) Marine incursion: The freshwater herring of Lake Tanganyika are the product of a marine invasion into West Africa.  PLoS One, 3, e1979.
  25. Rispoli VF and Wilson AB (2008) Sexual size dimorphism predicts the frequency of multiple mating n the sex-role reversed pipefish Syngnathus typhle.  Journal of Evolutionary Biology , 21, 30-38.
  26. Stoelting KN, Wilson AB (2007) Male pregnancy in seahorses and pipefish: Beyond the mammalian model. BioEssays, 29, 884-896.
  27. Wilson AB, Martin-Smith KM (2007) Genetic monogamy despite social promiscuity in the pot-bellied seahorse (Hippocampus abdominalis).Molecular Ecology, 16, 2345-2352.
  28. Millien V, Lyons KJ, Olsen L, Smith FA, Wilson AB, Yom-Tov Y (2006) Ecotypic variation in the context of global climate change: Revisiting the rules.  Ecology Letters, 9, 853-869.
  29. Wilson AB (2006) Genetic signature of recent glaciation on populations of a near-shore marine fish species (Syngnathus leptorhynchus). Molecular Ecology, 15, 1857-1871.
  30. Wilson AB (2006) Interspecies mating in sympatric species of Syngnathus pipefish.  Molecular Ecology, 15, 809-824.
  31. Von Rintelen T, Wilson AB, Meyer A, Glaubrecht M (2004) Escalation and trophic specialization drive adaptive radiation of freshwater gastropods in ancient lakes on Sulawesi, Indonesia Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B, 271, 2541-2550.
  32. Wilson AB, Glaubrecht M, Meyer A (2004) Ancient lakes as evolutionary reservoirs: Evidence from the thalassoid gastropods of Lake Tanganyika.  Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B, 271, 529-536.
  33. Wilson AB, Ahnesjö I, Vincent A, Meyer A (2003) The dynamics of male brooding, mating patterns and sex-roles in pipefishes and seahorses (Family Syngnathidae).  Evolution, 57, 1374-1386.
  34. Wilson AB, Vincent A, Ahnesjö I, Meyer A (2001) Male pregnancy in seahorses and pipefishes (Family Syngnathidae): Rapid diversification of paternal brood pouch morphology inferred from a molecular phylogeny. Journal of Heredity, 92, 159-166.
  35. Wilson AB, Noack-Kunnmann, K, Meyer A (2000) Incipient speciation in sympatric Nicaraguan crater lake cichlid fishes: Sexual selection versus ecological diversification. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B, 267, 2133-2141.
  36. Noack K, Wilson AB, Meyer A (2000) Broad taxonomic applicability of microsatellites developed for the highly polymorphic neotropical cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellum). Animal Genetics, 31(2), 151-152.
  37. Wilson AB, Naish K-A, Boulding EG (1999) Multiple dispersal strategies of the invasive quagga mussel Dreissena bugensis as revealed by microsatellite analysis. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 56, 2248-2261
  38. Wilson AB, Boulding, EG, Naish K-A (1999) Characterization of tri- and tetra-nucleotide microsatellite markers in the invasive mollusc, Dreissena bugensis. Molecular Ecology, 6, 692-693. 
  39. Claxton WT, Wilson AB, Mackie GL, Boulding EG (1998) A genetic and morphological comparison of shallow and deep water populations of the introduced dreissenid bivalve, Dreissena bugensis.  Canadian Journal of Zoology, 76, 1269-1276.
  40. Wilson AB, Boates JS, Snyder M (1997) The role of topography in the genetic isolation of populations of the gammaridean amphipod, Corophium volutator, in the Bay of Fundy, Canada.  Molecular Ecology, 6, 917-923.
  • Sutton FB, Wilson AB (In Press) Parental behavior in fish. Encyclopedia of Reproduction, 2nd edition.
  • Wilson AB, Wegmann A, Ahnesjö I, Gonçalves JMS (Submitted) The evolution of ecological specialization in a broadly-distributed nearshore species. Functional Ecology.
  • Whittington CM. Gauthier M-E, Meyer A, Wilson AB (Submitted)  Prolactin and the Evolution of Male Pregnancy. Zoological Letters.
  • Wilson AB (2017) Fantastic seahorses and where to find them. (Book Review of "Seahorses: A Life-Size Guide to Every Species" by S. Lourie). Quarterly Review of Biology, 92(9), 211.
  • Wilson AB, Rispoli VF, Stölting KN (2008) Neues im Alten: Zoologische Forchung an Einem Museum im Zeitalter der Biodiversität. pp. 106-115.  In Sammelsurium der Tiere: Geschichte und Geschichten des Zoologischen Museums der Universität Zürich.  F. Loetz & A. Steinbrecher, eds. Chronos, Zurich.
  • Meyer A and Wilson AB (2001) New takes on old lakes. (Book Review of "Ancient Lakes: Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution" edited by A.P. Rossiter & H. Kawanabe. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 109.
  • Wilson AB, Claxton WT, Mackie GL (1998) mtDNA COI sequencing of Pisidium milium and P. sanguinichristi: Does molecular data support species-level designations? Research report prepared for the New Mexico Department of Game & Fish.
  • Wilson AB (1996) Genetic identification of agricultural pests: RAPD-PCR in Rhagoletis spp.  Technical report prepared for Environment Canada, Kentville Research Branch.
  • New York, USA 2016 – Hunter College Invited Seminar 
  • Perth, Australia 2016 – University of Western Australia Invited Seminar 
  • New York, USA 2015 – Columbia University Invited Seminar 
  • New York, USA 2014 – International Society of Behavioral Ecology Annual Meeting 
  • Raleigh, USA 2014 – Society for the Study of Evolution Annual Meeting
  • New York, USA 2014 – Queens College – Invited Seminar
  • New York, USA 2014 – New York University – Invited Seminar
  • New York, USA 2013 – City College – Invited Seminar
  • New York, USA 2013 – CUNY Animal Behavior Initiative Annual Meeting
  • Bern, Switzerland 2012 – University of BernInvited Seminar
  • Lund, Sweden 2012 – International Society of Behavioral Ecology Annual Meeting
  • New York, USA 2012 City University of New York – Invited Seminar
  • Dublin, Ireland 2012 Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution Annual Meeting
  • Vienna, Austria 2012 Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology Invited Seminar
  • Brooklyn, USA 2012 Brooklyn College Invited Seminar
  • Sackville, Canada 2012 Mount Allison University Invited Seminar
  • Biddeford, USA 2011 Gordon Research Conference – Evolutionary and Ecological Functional Genomics
  • Fiskebäckskil, Sweden 2011 – Syngnathid Biology International Symposium Invited Speaker
  • Krakow, Poland 2011 – Jagiellonian University Invited Seminar
  • Zürich, Switzerland 2011 – Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology Invited Seminar
  • Kingston, USA 2011 – University of Rhode Island – Invited Seminar
  • Heraklion, Greece 2011 – International Society of Biogeography Congress
  • Bayreuth, Germany 2010 – Colloquium in Animal Ecology – Invited Seminar
  • Lyon, France 2010 – Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution Annual Meeting