Mike Polito headshotMichael Polito

Position: Associate Professor, Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences

Phone: 225-578-9403

Fax: 225-578-5328

E-mail: mpolito@lsu.edu 

Office: 1239 Energy, Coast and Environment Building

Bachelor's Degree(s): B.S. Marine Biology, University of North Carolina Wilmington

Ph.D.(s): Ph.D. Marine Biology, University of North Carolina Wilmington

Research Website 

Research Interests

Stable isotope ecology
Food web dynamics and anthropogenic contaminants
Ecology of marine birds and mammals
Marsh ecology

Classes Taught

OCS1005: Intro to Oceanography
OCS 4012: Biology of Marine Vertebrates
OCE 7130: Marine Isotope Biogeochemistry

Recent Publications

Google Scholar Profile

Levy, H., Fiddaman, S.R., Vianna, J.A., Noll, D., Clucas, G.V., Sidhu, J.K., Polito, M.J., Bost, C.A., Phillips, R.A., Crofts, S. and Miller, G.D., (2020). Evidence of pathogen-induced immunogenetic selection across the large geographic range of a wild seabird. Molecular Biology and Evolution.

Lois, N.A., Campagna, L., Balza, U., Polito, M.J., Pütz, K., Vianna, J.A., Morgenthaler, A., Frere, E., Sáenz‐Samaniego, R., Raya Rey, A., Mahler, B. (2020). Metapopulation dynamics and foraging plasticity in a highly vagile seabird, the southern rockhopper penguin. Ecology and evolution, 10(7), 3346-3355.

Rosciano, N. G., Polito, M. J., Rey, A. R. (2020). Seasonally persistent foraging niche segregation between sympatric Southern Rockhopper and Magellanic penguins breeding at Isla de los Estados, Argentina. Journal of Ornithology, 1-12.

Johnson, J. J., Olin, J. A., Polito, M. J. (2019). A multi-biomarker approach supports the use of compound-specific stable isotope analysis of amino acids to quantify basal carbon source use in a salt marsh consumer. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 33(23), 1781--1791.

McMahon, K. W., Michelson, C. I., Hart, T., McCarthy, M. D., Patterson, W. P., Polito, M. J. (2019). Divergent trophic responses of sympatric penguin species to historic anthropogenic exploitation and recent climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(51), 25721--25727.

Rohli, R. V., Ates, S. A., Rivera-Monroy, V. H., Polito, M. J., Midway, S. R., Castañeda-Moya, E., Gold, A. J., Uchida, E., Mangora, M. M., Makoto, S. (2019). Inter-annual hydroclimatic variability in coastal Tanzania. International Journal of Climatology, 39(12), 4736--4750.

Polito, M. J., Trivelpiece, W. Z., Reiss, C. S., Trivelpiece, S. G., Hinke, J. T., Patterson, W. P., Emslie, S. D. (2019). Intraspecific variation in a dominant prey species can bias marine predator dietary estimates derived from stable isotope analysis. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods, 17(4), 292--303.

Cole, T. L., Dutoit, L., Dussex, N., Hart, T., Alexander, A., Younger, J. L., Clucas, G. V., Frugone, M. J., Cherel, Y., Cuthbert, R., Ellenberg, U., Fiddaman, S., Hiscock, J., Houston, D., Jouventin, P., Mattern, T., Miller, G., Miskelly, C., Nolan, P., Polito, M. J., Quillfeldt, P., Ryan, P., Smith, A., Tennyson, A., Thompson, D., Wienecke, B., Vianna, J., Ellenberg, U. (2019). Receding ice drove parallel expansions in Southern Ocean penguins. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(52), 26690--26696.

Hernandez, K. M., Bogomolni, A. L., Moxley, J., Waring, G., DiGiovanni, Jr, R., Hammill, M., Johnston, D., Sette, L., Polito, M. J. (2019). Seasonal variability and individual consistency in gray seal (Halichoerus grypus) isotopic niches. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 97(11), 1071--1077.

Rosciano, N. G., Polito, M. J., Rey, A. R. (2019). What’s for dinner mom? Selective provisioning in southern rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome). Polar Biology, 42(8), 1529--1535.

Clucas, G. V., Younger, J. L., Kao, D., Emmerson, L., Southwell, C., Wienecke, B., Rogers, A. D., Bost, C. A., Miller, G. D., Polito, M. J., others (2018). Comparative population genomics reveals key barriers to dispersal in Southern Ocean penguins. Molecular ecology, 27(23), 4680--4697.

Learner, J. E., Ono, K., Hernandez, K. M., Rundstadler, J. R., Puryear, W. B., Polito, M. J. (2018). Evaluating the use of stable isotope analysis to infer the feeding ecology of a growing US gray seal (Halichoerus grypus) population. PLOS ONE, 13(2), e0192241.

Rosciano, N. G., Pütz, K., Polito, M. J., Raya Rey, A. (2018). Foraging behaviour of Magellanic Penguins during the early chick-rearing period at Isla de los Estados, Argentina. Ibis.

Borowicz, A., McDowall, P., Youngflesh, C., Sayre-McCord, T., Clucas, G., Herman, R., Forrest, S., Rider, M., Schwaller, M., Hart, T., Jenouvrier, S., Polito, M. J., Singh, H., Heather, L. (2018). Multi-modal survey of Adelie penguin mega-colonies reveals the Danger Islands as a seabird hotspot. Scientific reports, 8(1), 3926.

Moxley, J. H., Bogomolni, A., Hammil, M., Moore, K., Polito, M. J., Sette, L., Sharp, S., Waring, G., Gilbert, J., Halpin, P., Johnston, D. W. (2017). Google Haul Out: earth observation imagery and digital aerial surveys in coastal wildlife management and abundance estimation. Bioscience, 97(8), 760-768.

Herman, R. W., Valls, C. F., Hart, T., Petry, M. V., Trivelpiece, W. Z., Polito, M. J. (2017). Seasonal consistency and individual variation in foraging strategies differ among and within Pygoscelis penguin populations in the Antarctic Peninsula region. Marine Biology, 164(5), 115.

Polito, M. J., Hinke, J. T., Hart, T., Santos, M., Houghton, L. A., Thorrold, S. R. (2017). Stable isotope analyses of feather amino acids identify penguin migration strategies at ocean basin scales. Biology Letters, 13(8), 20170241.

Polito, M. J., Brasso, R. L., Trivelpiece, W. Z., Karnovsky, N., Patterson, W. P., Emslie, S. D. (2016). Differing foraging strategies influence mercury (Hg) exposure in an Antarctic penguin community. Environmental Pollution, 218, 196–206.

Rosciano, N., Polito, M. J., Rey, A. R. (2016). Do penguins share? Evidence of foraging niche segregation between but not within two sympatric, central-place foragers. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 548, 249–262.

McCann, M. J., Able, K. W., Christian, R. R., Fodrie, F. J., Jenson, O. P., Johnson, J. J., Lopez-Duarte, P. C., Martin, C. W., Olin, J. A., Polito, M. J., Roberts, B. J., Zeigler, S. L. (2016). Key taxa in food web responses to stressors: The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 15(3), 142-149.

Fournier, A. M., Welsh, K. J., Polito, M. J., Emslie, S. D., Brasso, R. (2016). Levels of Mercury in Feathers of Clapper Rails (Rallus crepitans) over 45 Years in Coastal Salt Marshes of New Hanover County, North Carolina. Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology, 97(4), 469–473.

Levy, H., Clucas, G. V., Rogers, A. D., Leaché, A. D., Ciborowski, K. L., Polito, M. J., Lynch, H. J., Dunn, M. J., Hart, T. (2016). Population structure and phylogeography of the Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua) across the Scotia Arc. Ecology and evolution, 6(6), 1834-1853.

Brasso, R. L., Chiaradia, A., Polito, M. J., Rey, A. R., Emslie, S. D. (2015). A comprehensive assessment of mercury exposure in penguin populations throughout the Southern Hemisphere: Using trophic calculations to identify sources of population-level variation. Marine pollution bulletin, 97(1), 408–418.

McMahon, K. W., Polito, M. J., Abel, S., McCarthy, M. D., Thorrold, S. R. (2015). Carbon and nitrogen isotope fractionation of amino acids in an avian marine predator, the gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua). Ecology and evolution, 5(6), 1278–1290.

Polito, M. J., Trivelpiece, W. Z., Patterson, W. P., Karnovsky, N. J., Reiss, C. S., Emslie, S. D. (2015). Contrasting specialist and generalist patterns facilitate foraging niche partitioning in sympatric populations of Pygoscelis penguins. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 519, 221–237.

Freer, J. J., Mable, B. K., Clucas, G., Rogers, A. D., Polito, M. J., Dunn, M., Naveen, R., Levy, H., Hart, T. (2015). Limited genetic differentiation among chinstrap penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica) colonies in the Scotia Arc and Western Antarctic Peninsula. Polar Biology, 38(9), 1493–1502.

Beaulieu, M., González-Acuna, D., Thierry, A.-M., Polito, M. J. (2015). Relationships between isotopic values and oxidative status: insights from populations of gentoo penguins. Oecologia, 177(4), 1211–1220.

Polito, M. J. (2015). Reviews and Brief Notices Zoology - Penguins: Natural History and Conservation. Edited by Pablo Garcia Borboroglu and P. Dee Boersma. The Quarterly Review of Biology, 90(1).

Hinke, J. T., Polito, M. J., Goebel, M. E., Jarvis, S., Reiss, C. S., Thorrold, S. R., Trivelpiece, W. Z., Watters, G. M. (2015). Spatial and isotopic niche partitioning during winter in chinstrap and Adélie penguins from the South Shetland Islands. Ecosphere, 6(7), 1–32.

Clucas, G. V., Dunn, M. J., Dyke, G., Emslie, S. D., Levy, H., Naveen, R., Polito, M. J., Pybus, O. G., Rogers, A. D., Hart, T. (2014). A reversal of fortunes: climate change ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ in Antarctic Peninsula penguins. Scientific reports, 4.

Brasso, R. L., Polito, M. J., Emslie, S. D. (2014). Multi-tissue analyses reveal limited inter-annual and seasonal variation in mercury exposure in an Antarctic penguin community. Ecotoxicology, 23(8), 1494–1504.

Brasso, R. L., Lang, J., Jones, C. D., Polito, M. J. (2014). Ontogenetic niche expansion influences mercury exposure in the Antarctic silverfish Pleuragramma antarcticum. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 504, 253–263.

Emslie, S. D., Polito, M. J., Brasso, R., Patterson, W., Sun, L. (2014). Ornithogenic soils and the paleoecology of pygoscelid penguins in Antarctica. Quaternary International, 352, 4–15.

McLean, B. S., Ward, J. K., Polito, M. J., Emslie, S. D. (2014). Responses of high-elevation herbaceous plant assemblages to low glacial CO2 concentrations revealed by fossil marmot (Marmota) teeth. Oecologia, 175(4), 1117–1127.