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Ecology and Evolutionary Biology pres.

EEB Thursday Seminar: Variable immunity and its consequences for parasite dynamics

Tara Stewart Merrill, Research Fellow, University of Colorado, Boulder

Daphnia specimen depicted. Daphnia specimen depicted.
Daphnia specimen depicted.
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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