Tracking diseases by bait, plane, insects and fowl

The 91st Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting will be held in Memphis, Tennessee, from August 6 -11, 2006. The theme of the meeting is "Icons and Upstarts in Ecology" and some 3,000 scientists are expected to attend. Below is a sampling of papers, focusing on diseases, which will be presented during the week. Other topics to be covered during the meeting include marine ecology, environmental justice, climate change, biogeochemistry, and invasive species.

Human-mediated spread of Amphibian Pathogens through the Tiger Salamander Bait Trade Monday, August 7, 8 - 11:30 AM Plantation Room, Cook Convention Center

Emerging infectious diseases are implicated in the declines of amphibians worldwide. One virus in particular, ranavirus, has been associated with die-offs in wild amphibian populations in North America, Europe, Australia, and South America, and in commercial populations in Asia. Researching the pathogens' movements through the tiger salamander bait trade in Arizona, Angela Picco (Arizona State University) found 62 percent of bait shops carried infected animals. Picco will discuss the findings during a contributed oral session on amphibian and reptile ecology and decline.

Pandemic Diseases and the Aviation Network Tuesday August 8, 1:30 - 5:00 PM, L-4, Cook Convention Center

Lars Hufnagel (University of California Santa Barbara) and colleagues designed a method to track the spread of infectious diseases through the global aviation network. Focusing on international and national civil aviation traffic, the researchers incorporated the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreaks, comparing their data with actual reported cases. Hufnagel and colleagues found good agreement between what the model suggested and what actually happened, suggesting their model can be used to help predict future worldwide spread of diseases and to identify high-risk regions in advance. Hufnagel will report

Contact: Annie Drinkard
Ecological Society of America

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