I apply quantitative skills studying patterns in disease infections or dynamics. I identify characteristics in disease dynamics to better understand disease transmission. For one of my PhD studies, I use the associations of herbivore anthrax mortalities with environmental fluctuations as well as correlations of cases among host species to infer potential transmission mechanisms. With my quantitative skills, I also collaborate with other disease ecologists to understand host behaviors, disease infections, pathogen ecology and evolution, etc.
I study movement patterns of GPS-tagged animal hosts across species or geographical areas. I characterize their space use (or home ranges) and habitat selection. For one PhD study, I compare patterns among herbivore species and between two national parks in southern Africa.
Disease plus movement ecology
Though disease ecology and movement ecology are both appealing, I am especially interested in the intersection of disease and movement ecology. The interface between the two is an emerging and developing field. My PhD research involves two projects studying this exciting field. I integrate remotely sensed vegetation index, host habitat selection and spatiotemporal disease dynamics to understand host habitat selection with corresponding exposure to pathogens as well as outbreak sizes. I also apply simulations to determine whether and how host movement and distribution patterns drive disease transmission.