IGN 16-2
Representing contact heterogeneity: Applications to wildlife disease

Friday, August 14, 2015
345, Baltimore Convention Center
Erin E. Gorsich, Biology, Colorado State University, Ft Collins, CO
Clint Leach, Department of Biology, Colorado State University
Colleen Webb, Department of Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Variation results in ‘contingent rules’ and ‘messy’ patterns (Lawton 1999), yet exploring these patterns have been valuable for understanding the bounds of prediction in ecology. For disease ecology, many mechanisms can influence the dynamics of an infection. These include individual-level variation (e.g. in contacts, susceptibility, or infectiousness) and variation at larger scales (e.g. population or community structure). In this talk, we focus on the role of variation in host contact patterns in driving disease dynamics. We review the empirical and theoretical literature on wildlife contact networks to ask, when is it necessary to measure contact structure in wildlife populations?