Ecology of Infectious Diseases & Population Biology

My group’s research unites theory and empirical work to address basic and applied questions on the ecology of infectious diseases including aspects of population biology, evolution, climate, behavior, genetics, and conservation, and I would be excited to develop collaborations and advise graduate students on these topics. A key aim is to understand the underlying drivers of pathogen transmission and the impacts on host populations. Our lab’s general research philosophy is to begin each project by developing a mathematical model of the system to generate hypotheses and then test these hypotheses by gathering empirical data. Our current research can be divided into three general areas: 1) Local drivers of pathogen transmission, including land use, host community composition, and climate, 2) The impact of disease on animal populations, and 3) The spread of pathogens to new regions, including quantifying risk associated with ecological, and economic/trade pathways. We work on several pathogen systems including white-nose syndrome in bats, West Nile virus, avian malaria in Hawaiian birds, Lyme disease, chytridiomycosis in amphibians, Nipah virus in Bangladesh, and avian influenza.

 Resources for grad students:

Great webpage from Dr. Spencer Hall at Indiana with endless resources.