Global Change and Infectious Disease Dynamics
Monday, August 10, 2015: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
309, Baltimore Convention Center
In most parts of the world, land-use change is the principle factor driving loss of biological diversity; it also contributes to pathogen emergence. Over the past two years, a series of working groups at SYSENC and NCEAS have focused on developing ways to examine the interactions between land-use change, economic development and infectious disease dynamics, emphasizing emergence and transmission. Most of the techniques blend methods and models developed by ecologists with those used by epidemiologists, geographers and economists. This symposium is designed to highlight the analyses and insights emerging from these working groups. The symposium will focus on results that have broad implications for human health, global change, and loss of biodiversity.
The session is organized into three subsections: (1) initially we will examine the evidence for the role that land-use plays in driving disease emergence and modifying the structure of parasite and host communities. This section will also describe models that have emerged from the NCEAS/SYSENC workshops that provide novel ways of differentiating between cause and effect when examining data for parasite and host communities along a land-use change gradient.
(2) A second stream of the symposium brings together ecological and infectious disease models with economic models to examine how pathogens impact the health decisions of their human hosts regarding migration; developing a sustainable livelihood in one area versus migrating to a different area with better economic prospects, but different disease risks. These models provide important new insights into the many ecological and economic forces that create poverty traps as well as novel ways in which health interventions can alter trajectories of land-use change, economic development and conservation of biodiversity.
(3) The final stream examines the types of data available on patterns of land use change and human health and discusses ways in which ecological models can be used to bridge the gap between the ‘big-data’ sets available in geographic, environmental and health care systems, with the more restricted data-sets available to ecologists and biologists interested in wildlife health.
The symposium touches on a number of areas that are of increasing interest to many different groups of ecologists: land-use change, models of infectious disease, integration of ecological models with economics, and the conservation of biodiversity.