EEB Thursday Seminar: Variable immunity and its consequences for parasite dynamics
Tara Stewart Merrill, Research Fellow, University of Colorado, Boulder
Infectious disease results from interactions between parasites and susceptible hosts in the environment. For many populations, we have a limited understanding of the mechanisms that shape host susceptibility and how those mechanisms interact with ecological factors to regulate the spread of disease. Focusing on a simple one-host one-parasite system with environmental transmission, I use theoretical and empirical methods to explore the causes and consequences of variable host immunity. I demonstrate how integrating immune defenses into host-parasite interactions can improve our understanding of disease spread in natural systems.
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