What do we do?

Population biology, Disease ecology and Wildlife Conservation

We use a combination of approaches to understand the complex relationships between animal populations and their parasites and pathogens. Whether working on birds in Galapagos, lemurs in Madagascar, monkeys in Peru, snakes in Armenia, or endangered beetles here in Missouri, USA, we use a variety of approaches to understand the histories of the vertebrate lineages and how they are using their current landscape, and then we do the same for their pathogens. Individual students may focus on a particular bird species to understand history, current structure and pathogens, or to focus on an insect vector with the same objectives, or to focus on an interaction between a vertebrate lineage and a vector or pathogen.

The results are relevant to both basic studies of host-parasite coevolutionary dynamics, and to applied conservation problems aiming to understand and control disease threats in wildlife populations.