I am an Assistant Professor of Disease Ecology in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences and College of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn University. 

Our research focuses on the ecological and evolutionary drivers of disease dynamics. In particular, we are interested in how host ecology, behavior, and physiology influence heterogeneity in parasitism in wild populations. One of the model organisms we use to address these questions is the mouse lemur (Microcebus rufus), a tiny rainforest primate in Madagascar.  

However, mouse lemurs are just one component of a very complex system. Therefore, to understand disease dynamics at the ecosystem level, we take an interdisciplinary approach and combine research methodologies to better understand how land-use change affects the ecology of infectious diseases. We are working in Madagascar, "an ecosystem in crisis", and Alabama to investigate the transmission patterns of vector-borne diseases between humans, livestock, wildlife, and the environment. Ultimate goals are to address the sources of infection rather than the symptoms, and in doing so, develop applications to promote better health not only in human communities but in ecological communities as well. 

"Sometimes you can tell a large story with a tiny subject" - Eliot Porter

                                                                                                                                                                      Photo credits: C. Rist, J. Jernvall, and F. Rasambainarivo


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