CIE Seminar Series 2015 – Networked lizards: modelling pathways for parasites through host populations

Stephanie GodfreySPEAKER: Dr Stephanie Godfrey, Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, WA
DATE: Friday, 4th September 2015
LOCATION: Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds, room KE1.207-(new CADET building)
TIME: 12:00 noon
Seminar will also be video linked to the following campuses: Melbourne Campus at Burwood, room HE3.002; and Warrnambool Campus, room C1.13

ABSTRACT: Wildlife diseases are posing a growing threat to the conservation of many of our endangered and endemic fauna, and understanding the transmission of pathogens in wildlife populations is a key part of predicting and managing disease outbreaks.

Traditional epidemiological models assumed that disease transmission was dependent on animals randomly encountering each other at a constant rate. However, most animal societies are rarely structured that way; animals have preferential associations and affiliations, and the structure of these interactions can impact the transmission of pathogens through wildlife populations. Lizards have become a model system to explore questions about the role of animal behaviour in the transmission of pathogens.

In this talk, I will examine how our understanding of the role of animal behaviour in pathogen transmission has been advanced using social network models, and how experimental tests of these models are shining new light on the importance of animal behaviour for pathogen transmission.

BIO: Stephanie completed her PhD at Flinders University in 2010, and joined Murdoch University as a DECRA postdoctoral fellow in 2012.

Her research interests revolve around understanding the influence of animal behaviour on parasite transmission, which has enabled her to dabble in both the fascinating field of animal behaviour, and understanding what factors structure animal societies; and wildlife parasite ecology, and understanding the drivers of transmission.

In particular, she has specialised in the use of social networks to model the consequences of animal behaviour for parasite transmission.

She is interested in using these models for understanding how anthropogenic disturbances can impact networks, and consequently pathogen transmission dynamics.

Appointments with guest speaker may be made via Lee Ann Rollins

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