Emily Wroblewski

Emily Wroblewski

Assistant Professor of Biological Anthropology
PhD, University of Minnesota

contact info:

mailing address:

  • Washington University
    CB 1114
    One Brookings Drive
    St. Louis MO, 63130

Emily Wroblewski is a geneticist investigating the population and evolutionary immunogenetics of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in African apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas). 

Emily Wroblewski is an anthropological geneticist studying primate molecular ecology, population genetics, and evolutionary genetics/genomics. Wroblewski studies a variety of species, currently focusing on studies of wild African apes (chimpanzee, bonobo, gorilla) and monkeys. Her molecular work sits at the intersection of (ecological) immunology, disease ecology, and behavioral ecology. Of particular interest, Wroblewski studies the immunogenomics of diverse and rapidly-evolving gene complexes that encode molecules important to innate and adaptive immunity. She studies how variation within these genes, and the molecules they encode, relates to immunity and patterns of disease (such as SIV and malaria) in wild populations, and she elucidates the patterns of selection and co-evolution between host and pathogens that has occurred within the primate lineage. Because certain immune molecules have additional functions in reproduction and social behavior, Wroblewski also uses their patterns of molecular diversity to understand how the selective pressures from these different, and often-competing, components of fitness have been balanced throughout primate evolution.

Selected Publications

Wroblewski, E.E., Guethlein, L.A., Norman, P.J. Li, Y., Shaw, C.M., Han, A., Ndjango, J.B.N., Ahuka-Mundeke, S., Georgiev, A., Peeters, M., Hahn, B.H., & Parham, P. Bonobos maintain immune system diversity with three functional types of MHC-B. (2017) Journal of Immunology 198: 3480-3493.

Norman, P.J., Norberg, S.J., Guethlein, L.A., Nemat-Gorgani, N., Royce, T., Wroblewski, E.E., Dunn, T., Mann, T., Alicata, C., Hollenbach, J.A., Chang, W., Shults Won, M., Gunderson, K.L., Abi-Rached, L., Ronaghi, M., & Parham, P. Sequences of 95 human MHC haplotypes reveal extreme coding variation in genes other than highly polymorphic HLA class I and II. (2017) Genome Research 27: 813-823.

Schroepfer-Walker, K., Rudicell, R.S., Yingying Li, Hahn, B.H., Wroblewski, E.E. & Pusey, A.E. Chimpanzees breed with genetically dissimilar mates. (2017) Royal Society Open Science 4: 160422. 

Murray, C.M., Stanton, M.A., Lonsdorf, E.V., Wroblewski, E.E., & Pusey, A.E. Chimpanzee fathers bias their behavior toward their offspring. (2016) Royal Society Open Science 3: 160441.

Norman, P.J., Hollenbach, J.A., Nemat-Gorgani, N., Marin, W.M., Norberg, S.J., Ashouri, E., Jayaraman, J., Wroblewski, E.E., Trowsdale, J., Rajalingam, R., Oksenberg, J., Chiaroni, J., Guethlein, L.A., Traherne, J.A., Ronaghi, M., & Parham, P. Defining KIR and HLA class I genotypes at highest resolution via high-throughput sequencing. (2016) The American Journal of Human Genetics 99: 375-391.

Wroblewski, E.E., Norman, P.J., Guethlein, L.A., Rudicell, R.S., Ramirez, M.A., Li, Y., Hahn, B.H., Pusey, A.E., & Parham, P. Signature patterns of MHC diversity in three Gombe communities of wild chimpanzees reflect fitness in reproduction and immune defense against SIVcpz. (2015) PLOS Biology 13: e1002144.

Feldblum, J.T., Wroblewski, E.E., Rudicell, R.S., Hahn, B.H., Paiva, T., Cetinkaya-Rundel, M., Pusey, A.E., & Gilby, I.C. (2014) Sexually coercive male chimpanzees sire more offspring. Current Biology 4: 2855-2860.

Gilby, I.C., Brent, L.J.N., Wroblewski, E.E., Rudicell, R.S., Hahn, B.H., Goodall, J., & Pusey, A.E. Fitness benefits of coalitionary aggression in male chimpanzees. (2013) Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 67: 373-381.

Rudicell, R.S., Jones, J.H., Wroblewski, E., Learn, G.H., Li, Y., Robertson, J.D, Greengrass, E., Grossman, F., Kamenya, S., Pintea, L., Mjungu, D.C., Lonsdorf, E.V., Mosser, A., Lehman, C., Collins, D.A., Keele, B.F., Goodall, J., Hahn, B.H., Pusey, A.E., & Wilson, M.L. (2010) Impact of simian immunodeficiency virus infection on chimpanzee population dynamics. PLOS Pathogens 6: e1001116.

Wroblewski, E.E., Murray, C.M., Keele, B.F., Schumacher-Stankey, J.C., Hahn, B.H., & Pusey, A.E. (2009) Male dominance rank and reproductive success in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii). Animal Behaviour 77: 873-885.

Keele, B.F., Jones, J.H., Terio, K.A., Estes, J.E., Rudicell, R.S., Wilson, M.L., Li, Y., Learn, G.H., Beasley, T.M., Schumacher-Stankey, J., Wroblewski, E., Mosser, A., Raphael, J., Kamenya, S., Lonsdorf, E.V., Travis, D.A., Mlengeya, T., Kinsel, M.J., Else, J.C., Silvestri, G., Goodall, J., Sharp, P.M., Shaw, G.M., Pusey, A.E., & Hahn, B.H. (2009) Increased mortality and AIDS-like immunopathology in wild chimpanzees infected with SIVcpz. Nature 460: 515-519.