Abstract: Concerns are mounting that changes in climate, land use, species invasions, and connectivity are changing the global landscape of infectious diseases. Ecological complexity makes these anthropogenic effects on infectious disease difficult to predict. Using data-driven mathematical models, I will show how mosquito-transmitted diseases such as malaria, dengue, and chikungunya may shift with changing climate. I will then discuss sources of uncertainty and how ecological understanding can help to mitigate future shifts in disease risk. Finally, I will introduce the new Center for Disease Ecology, Health, and Development based at Stanford University, which will work to improve human health and well-being through ecological solutions to infectious disease.
About the Speaker: Erin Mordecai has been an Assistant Professor in Biology at Stanford University since January 2015. Her research focuses on the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases in humans and natural systems, and in particular how infectious diseases respond to global change. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2007 and received her PhD at the University of California Santa Barbara in 2012. She then completed an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University.