Vector movement and disease risk: When do we need to explicitly account for vector behavior and spatial patterns in disease models?
Many insects are vectors of disease, transmitting pathogens as they feed on plants and animals. However, little is known about how how the movement and foraging decisions made by vectors affects pathogen spread and disease risk. This research will integrate cutting edge models of vector behavior with manipulative experiments to understand the role of insect behavior in mediating infectious disease risk and to quantify how incorporating behavioral detail of vectors improves the predictions of how vectored pathogens respond to environmental change.
This work is funded by the National Science Foundation, Biological Sciences - Integrative Organismal Systems (BIO-IOS), Behavioral Systems Cluster, grant # 1556674