University of Nebraska–Lincoln
How do environment and behavior relate to an individual's risk of infection? And how does infection influence behavior? Questions like these have ignited my curiosity and set me on an exciting journey of discovery. In my research, I'm particularly compelled to understand the forces shaping complex transmission dynamics in multi-host, multi-pathogen systems. I think that a better understanding of these systems is especially important when the insights gleaned from gaining such an understanding might have implications for wildlife conservation or human and animal health.
An incorrigible nerd, I get excited by the development and application of spatial models and network mapping to questions related to disease ecology. Quantitative tools like these have the potential to vastly improve our understanding of complex systems in nature, and to inform conservation and health management decisions.
Although I enjoy the challenge of a good statistical analysis problem, I will always feel most at home in the field. The field is where I do my best thinking, and it was in the field that I got my first taste of research in wildlife ecology. It's an adventure that has taken me from the sandy banks of the Platte River in the Great Plains of North America to the arid mallee of Australia and the swampy lowlands of Papua New Guinea. I've had the good fortune to work with a lot of really great people, and I’ve learned so much about social ecology, animal communication, and the importance of conservation to maintaining a healthy planet.