Across the countryside: How ecology predicts the movement of parasites and disease

asons and time affect the outbreak of the bacteria. These findings will be discussed in relation to geography and the aquatic environment where cholera lives.

Kevin Lafferty of the University of California Santa Barbara and Leah Gerber of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis study the role of infectious diseases on Southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis). In their presentation, Good medicine for conservation biology: the intersection of epidemiology and conservation theory, Lafferty and Gerber will discuss the role disease plays in the health and size of the otters' overall population. Their study will propose that contaminants in the sea may have led to the suppression of the otters' immune systems, affecting the animals' overall ability to survive. They will also discuss how an increased knowledge of infectious diseases may influence how scientists determine when species are in trouble - knowledge that could ultimately lead to methods to protect them.

The fifth presentation examines a prominent new disease affecting house finches which has led to a 60% decline in their abundance in the eastern US. Entitled Spatial and temporal dynamics of an emerging pathogen in an introduced host: mycoplasmal conjunctivitis in house finches, the presenters include Sonia Altizer of Cornell University and her colleagues Barry Hartup (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Wesley Hochachka (Cornell University), Andy Dobson (Princeton University), and Andre Dohndt (Cornell University). By focusing on climate, migratory and social behavior, and the abundance of the finches, the researchers will discuss a model they created to explain the most important factors in the spread of this disease.

Predicting the spatial dynamics of infectious diseases: raccoon rabies as a model system will be the sixth presentation in this session. Since the mid-1970's rabies has been spreading across the eastern US, and cases of the disease have been repor

Contact: Nadine Lymn
Ecological Society of America

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