Assistant Professor Meghan Duffy receives NSF grant...

Assistant Professor Meghan Duffy receives NSF grant to study disease epidemics in natural populations.

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Meghan Duffy receives NSF grant to study disease epidemics in...

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Assistant Professor Meghan Duffy receives NSF grant to study disease epidemics in natural populations.

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The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Georgia Tech $370,000 for research into the factors influencing the severity of parasite epidemics in natural populations. Understanding why some epidemics devastate host populations, while others have only small effects, is particularly timely given that epidemics of infectious disease in wildlife populations have increased worldwide. This research will be led by Dr. Meghan Duffy of the School of Biology, and will be done in collaboration with Dr. Spencer Hall at Indiana University. They will study the links between the severity of fungal parasite epidemics in zooplankton host populations and interactions between ecological and evolutionary processes. They are particularly interested in how host genetic diversity and the presence of natural predators (especially ones who prey selectively on infected hosts) jointly determine epidemic severity.
This project will use a three-pronged approach to tackle these questions. It will combine intensive studies of natural epidemics in lake plankton, laboratory experiments manipulating host diversity and predation, and development of epidemiological models that incorporate both rapid evolution and selective predation. The processes examined and the modeling work naturally extend to many other disease systems. Therefore, this work will ultimately produce theoretical guidance for efforts seeking to understand and control the severity of wildlife disease.

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School of Biological Sciences

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  • Created By: Troy Hilley
  • Workflow Status: Archived
  • Created On: Mar 16, 2009 - 8:00pm
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:11pm