Disease Ecology at the Wasserberg Lab

Establishment of an infectious disease in a population requires more than just introduction of a pathogen into the population. It involves a complex interaction between the disease agent, the host, sometimes vector, and their environment. Understanding the ecological processes that determine the distribution, dynamics, severity, and evolution of diseases is the domain of the new science of Disease Ecology of Infectious Diseases.  The central theme of my research program is that the application of an ecological approach is crucial for understanding the processes by which anthropogenic environmental change leads to the emergence of zoonotic diseases. It is also crucial for identifying and targeting weak links in the transmission chain of such pathogens.  My research approach combines empirical research involving field and laboratory work as well as theoretical work involving mathematical modeling, individual-based simulations, and conceptual models.

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