Biodiversity, the Dilution Effect & Emerging Infectious Diseases
Continuing work I began as a postdoc with Dr. Richard Ostfeld, we have examined the influence of host community composition on Lyme disease risk and dynamics through a variety of approaches including: collection of host use patterns and abundance, experimental manipulations of host communities, and both analytical and simulation modeling. We continue to collect data on host use patterns and host abundance for parameterizing predictive models of Lyme disease risk and to explore the role of host species diversity and its potential to reduce the risk of Lyme disease. This research has been funded in the past by NIH (2002-2006). More recently we received NSF support (NSF collaborative grant with Felicia Keesing, lead-PI, Bard College, NY) aimed at understanding the effects of variation in host community composition for Anaplasma phagocytophilum transmission, the causal agent for human granulocytic anaplasmosis.