October 14 2015

12:00 LSB 2320

Jamie Lloyd-Smith
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA

Ecology, evolution and epidemiology, oh my! Rational risk assessment for pathogen emergence


From HIV to SARS to pandemic influenza, novel pathogens continue to emerge and cause tremendous impacts on human society. As better technologies and greater surveillance efforts reveal an ever-growing list of potential emergence threats, there is a stark need for robust scientific approaches to assess the risk that particular pathogens will spill over from animals, establish spread among humans, and potentially cause a global pandemic. Quantifying this risk requires integrating across scales from molecules to populations, and linking knowledge across host species and across disciplines. In this talk I will describe recent progress by my group in tackling these challenges, using quantitative models and targeted data-sets to connect key concepts from ecology, evolutionary biology, and epidemiology. I will show how a common ecological principle links risk assessment for monkeypox virus, avian influenza viruses, and primary drug resistance in viral infections. Time permitting, I will show why airport screening of incoming travellers for infections like Ebola is a waste of time, and why screening novel influenza viruses by transmitting them between ferrets is not.















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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