My research focuses on two pervasive and inter-related forms of biological change: disease emergence and species invasions. Both have important consequences not only for individuals but also for entire ecological communities and ecosystem services. My group endeavors to develop an ecological understanding of disease emergence as a prerequisite for intervention. Parasites and pathogens are an integrated component of all major food webs, such that understanding how infectious diseases respond to environmental changes requires approaches that embrace the dynamic interactions among hosts, pathogens, and other species in a community. By combining experiments, large-scale spatial and temporal data, molecular tools and ecological modeling, we seek to understand: (1) the ecosystem drivers of disease emergence and species invasions, (2) the influence of parasites and pathogens on community and ecosystem-level processes, and (3) the influence of climate shifts, pollution, and biodiversity losses on the probability of disease emergence or biological invasion.

Awards and Achievements

  • Henry Baldwin Ward Medal (American Society of Parasitologists)
  • NSF CAREER Award, George Mercer Award (Ecological Society of America)
  • Early Career Fellow (Ecological Society of America)