Title: Willaman Professor of Biology, Director of Huck Institutes of Life Sciences
Work: The Pennsylvania State University, Port Mathilda, PA, USA
I focus on the ecology of wildlife diseases, including zoonoses. My group uses a mixture of fieldwork, laboratory studies, and mathematical modeling to explore disease dynamics in three main study areas.
Epidemiology and Population Dynamics
We study how disease flows through wild animal populations, the mechanisms that lead to disease persistence within populations, and the consequences of individual infections on host population dynamics. For instance, how do sub-lethal effects of infection destabilize host population dynamics by influencing the fecundity of individuals?
We identify variation in transmission between infected individuals and the role of “superspreaders” in disease dynamics.
We study how infection by one disease agent alters host susceptibility to other parasites and pathogens, and the consequences of these interactions for host population dynamics.
Much of my work has implications for the control of wildlife diseases and of emerging zoonotic disease.