5/22/20 I gave a seminar in the EEB seminar series at UCSC on COVID-19/SARS-COV-2. It included a broad overview of the science plus an hour of Q&A.
7/30/20 I gave a Town Hall talk for 18-34 year olds on COVID-19 entitled Don’t Kill Grandma.
1/21/21 I was a panelist on an “Ask the experts” event hosted by Lookout Santa Cruz with County Health Officer Gail Newell and Erica Padilla-Chaves.
1/28/21 I gave a lecture in an OLLI lifelong learning course organized by Dr. Jim Estes, with lectures by Dr. Rick Ostfeld, Dr. Felicia Keesing, and Dr. Drew Harvell.
2/16/21 I gave a second Kraw Lecture on Science and Technology on COVID-19 vaccines and virus variants.
March 2021. I gave vaccine information talks and Q&A to Salud para la gente, Metro Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz teachers, and Hartnell College to try to encourage vaccination.
April 2021. I gave a talk on backwards contact tracing and vaccine efficacy against new viral variants to Federally Qualified Health Centers in Santa Cruz County.
August 2021. Our paper on measures taken by the University of California to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was accepted by PLoS One. See Publications page for details.
August 2021. I was interviewed by Nature on new research on what makes the Delta variant more transmissible and harder to control.
August 2021. I did an interview on KTVU in San Francisco on schools, vaccines, masks and the threat of the Delta variant.
August 2021. I did an interview on KCBS Radio on the threat of the Delta variant and what it means for vaccine effectiveness.
July 2021. I was interviewed by Nature on new research estimating the effectiveness of vaccines in reducing transmission.
May 2021. Our paper, led by new PhD student Billy Gardner, on how rising cases reduce the impact of contact tracing is accepted by PLoS Computational Biology. See Publications page for details.
May 2021. I was asked as an expert by Politifact to fact check statements by Anthony Fauci about the need for masks post-vaccination.
May 2021. I was interviewed by Vox about whether CDC’s guidance that vaccinated people didn’t need to wear masks was consistent with available evidence.
May 2021. I was interviewed by Wired about the importance of vaccinating children following the approval of Pfizer’s vaccine for 12-15 year olds.
April 2021. I contributed to an episode of This American Life on NPR.
March 2021. I was interviewed by Nature about whether we had passed the peak of the pandemic.
March 2021. Chloe Rickards and Billy Gardner receive NSF-GRFP Fellowships! Congratulations Billy and Chloe!
March 2021. I was interviewed for NY Times story on 3′ vs 6′ distancing rules in schools.
February 2021. I contributed to a fact check by HealthFeedback.org of a Wall Street Journal Op-ed that claimed we’d have herd immunity by April. This fact check is used by Facebook to flag sharing of this article as “very low scientific credibility”.
January 2021. I was quoted in a news story in Nature on how a new SARS-CoV-2 variant is re-infecting those with immunity from previous exposure and the efficacy of the Novavax vaccine.
January 2021. I was interviewed by Good Times on the (very low) risk for SARS-CoV-2 transmission while running outdoors.
January 2021. I was interviewed by the Associated Press for an article (picked up by ABCNews) on the lifting of the shelter-in-place order in California.
January 2021. I gave a seminar at SUNY Albany on the effects of climate and land use on West Nile virus transmission.
December 2020. I was quoted by Washington Post on the surge in cases & hospitalizations in California.
December 2020. I did an interview with ScienceNews on the Pfizer vaccine.
November 2020. I was interviewed for article in Kaiser Health News on difficulties businesses face in closing, re-opening, and re-closing as COVID cases surge and ebb.
November 2020. I was interviewed for an article in Wired about how testing for COVID-19 cannot be used to rule out infection.
November 2020. Our entry to a national competition to develop a novel strategy to control white-nose syndrome was chosen as the winner. The team was led by researchers Oregon State, including Taal Levi and Emily Dziedzic.
November 2020. I contributed to article in Scientific American on how to stay safe during the holidays.
November 2020. I presented to the Santa Cruz County School Boards Association to discuss ways to resume in-person classes more safely.
October 2020. I did an interview with KCBS radio on how we can get through the pandemic in a way that recognizes impacts both on public health and people’s livelihoods & wellbeing.
October 2020. I worked with Politifact to fact-check a claim by Trump about the deadliness of flu vs COVID-19.
October 2020. Our paper assessing the impacts of censusing and research on bat populations is published in Conservation Science and Practice. See Publications page for details.
October 2020. I was a signatory on a letter to Inside Higher Ed on best approaches for universities to minimize COVID among students.
October 2020. I was quoted in article in Wired magazine about how Trump might have been infected with SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19.
October 2020. I did interviews with fivethirtyeight and Salon on the risk of death from COVID-19.
September 2020. A paper by our large team on how amphibians are persisting and recovering with the disease chytridiomycosis was accepted by Ecology Letters. See Publications page for details.
September 2020. A paper I co-authored with Jon Epstein and other colleagues on Nipah virus transmission dynamics in bats was accepted by PNAS. See Publications page for details.
September 2020. I did an interview with the Atlantic on the consequences of pursuing a herd immunity strategy for COVID-19.
September 2020. I did an interview with Business Insider on the extent to which herd immunity is reducing transmission of COVID-19 in the US.
August 2020. I did an interview with Nature News for an article on the fatality of COVID-19.
August 2020. I gave a Town Hall for child care providers on reducing COVID-19 risk.
July 2020. I contributed to an article for Business Insider on steps needed before we can have a safe & effective COVID-19 vaccine rolled out.
July 2020. I wrote an op-ed with Susan True in the Santa Cruz Sentinel on how to reverse the COVID-19 pandemic.
July 2020. I contributed an idea on how to move the disastrous US COVID response forward for an article in Stat News.
June 2020. I did an interview with Stat News on the prospects of 100,000 cases of COVID-19/day in the US.
June 2020. I did an interview with the Daily Mail on why COVID-19 cases are rising but deaths are decreasing when looking across the USA.
June 2020. I did a virtual Town-Hall presentation and Q&A with Dr Gail Newell on COVID-19 for non-profit organizations in Santa Cruz County.
July 2020. I did an interview with Radio France International on what we can do to stop the COVID-19 pandemic.
June 2020. I did an interview with Business Insider on the risk of COVID-19 from Trump’s rally.
June 2020. I did an interview with the Atlantic on the challenges of testing people for COVID-19 when they don’t have symptoms – they can’t be used to rule out infection.
June 2020. I did town hall meetings with Santa Cruz County supervisors John Leopold and Zach Friend on COVID-19.
June 2020. I did an interview with the San Jose Mercury News about a badly flawed study claiming that the risk of disease from COVID-19 was low. The story and quote don’t actually explain any of the issues I raised, including the authors using a value of the fatality of COVID-19 that is 50-fold lower than data suggest.
June 2020. A COVID blog featured my roadmap for exiting lockdowns while limiting COVID-19 transmission.
June 2020. I did an interview for Nature on the fatality of COVID-19.
June 2020. Our paper (w/ Drs. Joseph Hoyt, Kate Langwig) on the (lack of) effects of low numbers of censusing and research visits on bat population growth rates is accepted by Conservation in Practice. See Publications page for details.
May 2020. I did an interview with KCBS on how criteria were set for re-opening Bay Area County businesses impacted by COVID-19, and why they matter.
May 2020. I did an interview with NPR on the challenges of estimating infection prevalence for SARS-COV-2 in areas where transmission is relatively low.
May 2020. I did an interview for Money.com on the uses and misuses of antibody testing.
May 2020. I did a long radio interview on KCBS in SF Bay area on many different aspects of COVID-19.
April 2020. I did an interview with ProPublica on serological studies and how they can be used in the COVID-19 epidemic.
April 2020. I did interviews for San Francisco Chronicle, Nature, KCBS radio, MIT’s Undark, Buzzfeed, and Buzzfeed again, about shortcomings of a recent serological study by researchers at Stanford that initially garnered widespread uncritical press. I described these concerns here. Other news agencies also reported these concerns including San Jose Mercury News, Business Insider, Salon, MedicineNet, Medscape.
March 2020. Anthony Fauci is playing a major role in national strategies for COVID-19. Many years ago (2004) I was lucky enough to give congressional testimony in a hearing on West Nile virus. Here is the transcript from that meeting. The first two speakers listed are Anthony Fauci and me! It’s probably the closest I’ll be to someone that important, and it was a pretty cool experience! It was my 15 minutes of fame.
March 2020. I did an interview with Santa Cruz Local about an exit strategy from the lockdown/shelter in place order that California is under to control transmission of COVID-19/SARS-COV-2.
March 2020. I did an interview with Santa Cruz Good Times about COVID-19.
March 2020. I did an interview for an article in Bay Nature about Lyme disease ecology.
Feb 2020. I gave a short presentation at a legislation announcement event in support of Congressman Jimmy Panetta’s proposed legislation to fund conservation of monarch butterflies. The event was covered by several press outlets including the Monterey Herald and KSBW TV.
Feb 2020. Our Monarch butterfly conservation team (Elizabeth Crone at Tufts, Cheryl Schultz at Washington State, and Emma Pelton at Xerces Society) launched a citizen science project called the Western Monarch Mystery Challenge which aims to determine where western monarchs go between February and May after leaving their overwintering grounds on the coast. If you see a monarch butterfly in California away from the coast between Feb-May please take a picture and upload it to iNaturalist or email it to MonarchMystery@wsu.edu with the date and location. See link above for more details.
Jan 2020. Former graduate student Joseph Hoyt started a new position as a tenure-track faculty member at Virginia Tech in the Biology Dept. Congratulations Joe! Well deserved!
November 2019. Research led by Katherine McClure on the role of native and introduced species in avian malaria transmission in Hawaii is accepted by Ecology. Congrats Katherine! See Publications page for details.
October 2019. Research led by Luz de Wit on soil contamination with Toxoplasma gondii in public parks and gardens is accepted by Zoonoses and Public Health. Congrats Luz! See Publications page for details.
September 2019. Matt Montgomery and Nikka Malakooti join the lab as PhD students. Welcome Nikka and Matt! See Lab Members page.
September 2019. The Journal of Medical entomology has published an open access special issue on the 20th anniversary of West Nile virus being introduced into North America. I contributed to two articles in the special issue (see Publications page papers 105 &106).
May 2019. Our paper, led by Joe Hoyt, describing the results of the first field trial of a treatment to reduce the impacts of white-nose syndrome on bats is accepted for publication in Scientific Reports. See Publications page for details.
April 2019. An interview I did with a reporter from California Healthline on weather impacts on West Nile virus was published in the LA Times. See Publications page #91 (Paull, et al., Kilpatrick 2016 Proceedings B) for the paper the interview stemmed from.
April 2019. We just received word that a $3M grant proposal we submitted to NSF/NIH’s ecology and evolution of infectious disease panel was recommended for funding. It’s a collaboration led by Dr. Kate Langwig and Joe Hoyt from Virginia Tech, Beth Shapiro and I from UCSC, Jeff Foster from N. Arizona, and colleagues from Northeast Normal University, Changchun, China (Keping Sun, Jiang Feng). The proposed work aims to understand the mechanisms of persistence of bat populations with white-nose syndrome across the globe. Congrats to the team!
March 2019. Our study on risks for exposure and drivers of transmission of Nipah virus in Bangladesh is accepted by the New England Journal of Medicine. See Publications page for details.
January 2019. An article in Scientific American came out that includes comments from an interview I did about the prospects for controlling Lyme disease by vaccinating mice. This story follows from a paper we published in 2017. See Publications page paper number 88 for details.
November 2018. Luz de Wit‘s paper on drivers of Toxoplasmosis exposure in island communities in Mexico, including cat density, sex, age, and diet, was accepted by PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. Congrats Luz! It is Publication #100! See Publications page for details.
November 2018: Joseph Hoyt’s paper on the importance of indirect and infrequent contacts is published by Nature. Congratulations Joe! See Publications page #99 for details.
September 2018: Christa Seidl joins the Kilpatrick lab as a PhD Student. Welcome Christa!
August 2018: Joseph Hoyt’s paper on the importance of indirect and infrequent contacts is accepted by Nature. Congratulations Joe! See Publications page for details.
July 2018: Katherine McClure’s paper on the effects of land use and larval habitat on the abundance of Aedes albopictus and Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes is published by the Journal of Medical Entomology. Congrats Katherine! See Publications page for details.
May 2018. We did two interviews with the NY Times and Wired commenting on a report published by the CDC showing a tripling of reported vector-borne diseases. It was a great chance to try (with only partial success) to counter the poorly supported dogma claiming that increases in vector-borne disease are caused by increased temperatures. Our paper (see Publications page, #91) led by former post-doc Sara Paull showed that drought is far more important than temperature in yearly West Nile virus incidence, and that human immunity from previous transmission is even more important still!
March 2018. Tony Kovach’s paper on the influence of rice cultivation on West Nile virus incidence in the USA is accepted for publication by the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Congrats Tony! See Publications page for details.
November 2017. Our grant proposal to Australia’s Research Council using integral projection models (Publication #80 on Publications page) to examine disease dynamics of endangered frogs in Australia was funded! The team includes Hamish McCallum, Cherie Briggs, Laura Grogan, and David Newell. I’m looking forward to going to Australia!
October 2017. Joe Hoyt defends his PhD and becomes Dr. Hoyt. Congrats Joe! He is now a Research Scientist at Virginia Tech.
September 2017. Tina Cheng defends her PhD and becomes Dr. Cheng. Congrats Tina! She is now a post-doc with Bat Conservation International.
September 2017. Katherine McClure defends her PhD and becomes Dr. McClure. Congrats Katherine! She is now a post-doc at Colorado State.
September 2017. Our paper on the spatial patterns and drivers of Nipah virus epidemics in Bangladesh is published in Emerging Infectious Diseases! See the Publications page.
April 2017. Two of our papers were published this month in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. The first lays out the research that is needed to make conservation an effective public health tool. The second paper is co-authored by more than a dozen Lyme disease experts and synthesizes four decades of research on Lyme disease ecology in an effort to outline areas of concensus, and gaps in our knowledge that we need to fill to control this important disease. The Lyme disease paper was covered by the popular press including Self Magazine and Science Daily. See the Publications page for both papers and links.
April 2017. In a first, we were asked, for a story by the San Jose Mercury News, to make a prediction about the intensity of West Nile virus this summer, given the extremely wet winter we just had. We published a paper earlier this year (led by Sara Paull) showing that the strongest climatic driver of West Nile virus epidemics was drought. Thus, we predicted that this would not be an especially intense year for West Nile virus in California. We will find out if we are correct in the next 4 months!
March 2017. Luz de Wit’s paper that builds predictive models to facilitate estimating the public health burdens on islands of diseases carried by introduced mammals was Published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene – the core journal of the global public health community. Congrats Luz! See Publications page for details.
March 2017. Our grant with Dina Fonseca, Rob Fleischer, Jeff Foster, Nina Fefferman, Eben Paxton and Lauren Sackett, and to study the co-evolution of mosquitoes, birds and avian malaria in Hawaii was recommended for funding by NSF for $2.5M! On to Hawaii!
February 2017. Our paper led by Sara Paull showing that drought and immunity determine the intensity of yearly West Nile virus epidemics was published in Proc. Royal Soc. B and covered by the popular press including NPR, BBC, Reuters, and US News World Report! Congrats to Sara! See the Publications page.
January 2017. Our paper outlining the steps needed to develop biodiversity conservation as a public health strategy was accepted by Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. See Publications page for details!
January 2017. Kate Langwig’s paper on the development of resistance by bats is published by Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B and is covered by the Associated Press. See Publications page for details!
January 2017. Our paper led by Sara Paull examining the drivers of yearly West Nile virus epidemics in North America was accepted by Proc. Royal Soc. B! Congrats to Sara! This paper is the culmination of many years of hard work! See the Publications page.
December 2016. Our paper with Ilia Rochlin, Ary Faraj, Chris Barker, and Dominick V. Ninivaggi examining the impacts of climate, DDT and land use on mosquito populations over the last century is published by Nature Communications, and covered by the popular press including print (e.g. MSNBC), and radio (KCBS, KPCC). See Publications page for the paper and more details.
December 2016. Our paper describing the infection dynamics during the continental invasion and establishment of white-nose syndrome is accepted by Ecology.See Publications page for details.
October 2016. Our paper on bat skin microbiomes was published in Frontiers in Microbiology. See Publications page for details.
October 2016. Luz de Wit’s paper that builds predictive models to facilitate estimating the public health burdens on islands of diseases carried by introduced mammals was accepted by the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene – the core journal of the global public health community. Congrats Luz! See Publications page for details.
October 2016. Our paper on bat skin microbiomes was accepted by Frontiers in Microbiology. See Publications page for details.
September 2016. Our Lyme disease ecology synthesis paper was accepted by Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. In this paper we try to bridge the divide that has created so much animosity in Lyme disease research. See Publications page for details.
August 2016. Our paper with Ilia Rochlin, Ary Faraj, Chris Barker, and Dominick V. Ninivaggi examining the impacts of climate, DDT and land use on mosquito populations over the last century is accepted by Nature Communications. See Publications page for details.
July 2016. Our proposal to Bat Conservation International and the Nature Conservancy to test a treatment to reduce the environmental reservoir for the fungus causing white-nose syndrome was funded! Congrats to the whole team – Joe Hoyt, Kate Langwig, Jeff Foster, Katy Parise, Paul White, Bill Scullon, and John DePue!
July 2016. Jordan Ruybal passes her PhD Defense. Just one more hurdle – her public talk on Monday, 8/1/16 – and then she will be Dr. Ruybal! Congrats Jordan!
July 2016. Kate Langwig’s paper on the development of resistance by bats is accepted by Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B and will be published as a part of a special issue on how humans cause evolutionary change in other organisms! Congrats Kate! See Publications page for details!
July 2016. Tina Cheng’s paper describing a lab trial testing a probiotic treatment for white-nose syndrome was accepted by Journal of Applied Ecology. Congrats Tina! See Publications page for details!
July 2016. The US FWS White Nose Syndrome Strategic Vision document was just released that built heavily on our paper “Context-dependent conservation responses to emerging wildlife diseases”, led by Kate Langwig. It is an exciting example of science being used to guide policy in a very real way. See Publications page #70 for the paper!
July 2016. Kate Langwig’s final dissertation chapter on the factors determining differences in impacts of white-nose syndrome on different bat species was accepted by Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B and will be published as a part of a special issue on fungal diseases! Congrats Kate! See Publications page for details!
March, 2016. Joe Hoyt and Kate Langwig’s paper examining how Asian bats are persisting with white-nose syndrome is published by Proceedings of the Royal Society B, and covered by BBC, Discovery, and the Scientist. See Publications page for the paper and news coverage.
March 2016. Jordan Ruybal’s paper on spatial variation in mosquito life history traits published in Parasites & Vectors. Congrats to Jordan! See Publications page for the paper.
March 2016. Liam McGuire’s paper comparing different methods for assessing white-nose syndrome disease severity. See Publications page for more details.
March, 2016. Mark Wilber’s paper on using integral projection models (IPM) to model disease dynamics accepted at Methods in Ecology and Evolution. See Publications page for more details.
February, 2016. Jordan Ruybal’s paper quantifying spatial variation in temperature – life history relationships for Culex pipiens mosquitoes is accepted by Parasites and Vectors! Congrats to Jordan. See Publications page for more details.
January, 2016. Joe Hoyt and Kate Langwig’s paper examining how Asian bats are persisting with white-nose syndrome is accepted by Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Congrats to Joe and Kate! See Publications page for more details.
November, 2015. Joe Hoyt’s paper describing his discovery of the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in Asia is published by Emerging Infectious Diseases! See Publications page for the paper, which was covered by Newsweek and other press outlets.
September 24, 2015. Joe Hoyt’s paper on a top secret topic is accepted by Emerging Infectious Diseases! Stay tuned for more details.
July 2015. Bat Conservation International and the Nature Conservancy fund our grant proposal to perform a field trial to test the probiotic bacteria our lab has been developing to reduce the impacts of white-nose syndrome on bats. See Publications page for a paper led by Joe Hoyt in PLoS One in 2015 that describes some of this work.
May 2015. NSF funds a small grant ($130K) to study the co-evolution of the hosts, vectors, and pathogen of avian malaria in Hawaii. The PIs are Dina Fonseca, Rob Fleischer, Marm Kilpatrick, Nina Fefferman, and Eben Paxton.
May 2015. Joe Hoyt appears on Science Radio show Quirks and Quarks to talk about his research and paper on using probiotic bacteria to reduce impacts of white-nose syndrome on bats. See Publications page for this and other press stories on this research. Congrats Joe!
May, 2015. Our lab’s paper on the invasion of white-nose syndrome is published online in Emerging Infectious Diseases! See Publications page.
May 2015. Joe Hoyt awarded a Switzer Fellowship! Congrats Joe!!!!
May, 2015. Our paper on how to manage emerging wildlife diseases is out in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. The paper is a product of an NCEAS working group I organized with Jamie Voyles and Cherie Briggs. See Publications page for a pdf!
April, 2015. Joe’s paper on developing a probiotic to reduce white-nose syndrome impacts on bats was published in PLoS One and will be featured on an upcoming Quirks and Quarks show. It was also covered by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Discovery News, Earthweek: A Diary of the Planet, and other sources. Congrats to Joe! See Publications page for a pdf!
March 12, 2015. Kate and Joe’s paper on the invasion dynamics of white-nose syndrome accepted by Emerging Infectious Diseases. Congrats to Kate and Joe! See Publications page!
Feb 15, 2015. Joe’s paper on developing a probiotic to reduce white-nose syndrome impacts on bats accepted by PLoS One. Congrats to Joe! See Publications page!
January 30, 2015. Fred’s paper in Global Ecology and Biogeography published online! See Publications page!
January 16, 2015. Sam’s paper on siderophores accepted at PLoS One. Congrats to co-authors Tina and Fred! See Publications page!
December 12, 2014. Kate’s paper published online in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. See Publications page!
October 24, 2014. Our lab had four papers accepted this week including papers in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, PNAS, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Global Ecology and Biogeography! Congrats to Kate Langwig, Winifred Frick, Joe Hoyt, and Tina Cheng! See Publications page!
September, 2014: Joe Hoyt’s paper published online in Ecohealth: Long-term persistence of Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the causative agent of white-nose syndrome, in the absence of bats. See Publications page for pdf. Congrats to Joe!
September, 2014: Will Janousek’s paper published on how bird roosting behavior influences contact with biting mosquitoes published in Parasites & Vectors. See the Publications page for pdf!
June, 2014: Joe Hoyt Goes to China to search for the fungus causing white-nose syndrome in bats.