BA Ecology and Evolutionary Biology -, Princeton University, 2006
MPH Public Health, Epidemiology, University of California, Berkeley, 2008
I am interested in behavioral and spatial aspects of wildlife disease. Through the use of dynamic modeling and field work I hope to gain insight into how host movement and social behavior contribute to the epidemiologic dynamics of infectious diseases. My research will focus on anthrax in mega-herbivores and rabies in jackals in Etosha National Park, Namibia.
The striking difference between the mechanisms of rabies transmission (direct host-host contact) and anthrax transmission (consumption of bacterial spores) highlights the role of behavior in determining disease dynamics. Rabies outbreaks reflect the territorial structure of jackal populations--a disease front quickly moves through the landscape. In contrast, anthrax outbreaks are episodic in nature reflecting poorly understood interactions between foraging behavior, environmental conditions, and spore dispersal.