University of Georgia
This award will support participation in the 13th annual conference on the Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases, to be held May 26-29 in Athens, GA, USA. This year?s conference focuses on predicting and controlling infectious disease outbreaks that are directly relevant to human health, the safety of our food supply, and to the conservation of biological diversity. The five major themes of the conference are: (1) the dynamics of neglected tropical diseases, (2) the interface between infectious disease ecology and the social sciences (economics, policy, human behavior), (3) within-host dynamics and evolution, (4) the macroecology of infectious diseases, and (5) the dynamics and control of Ebola virus. Shifts in the prevalence, host range and geographic distribution of infectious diseases, as a result of ecological, anthropogenic or evolutionary change, are an ongoing challenge for human health and natural ecosystems. Scientists have focused extensive attention on the processes driving infectious disease spread within populations, yet crucial processes operating at other scales of organization, ranging from molecular and cellular interactions within hosts to biological diversity within ecosystems also determine infectious disease outcomes and distributions. This conference explores both small- and large-scale mechanisms that underlie infectious disease spread and emergence, and considers how these factors can point towards control strategies for pathogens that threaten human health, agriculture, and natural ecosystems. The conference especially encourages student participation by keeping student registration fees to a minimum, thus allowing graduate students and undergraduates to participate, meet leading scientists in the field, and network with each other. A minimum of 70 students will present their work in the form of a poster presentation or oral talk, thus communicating their research plans and findings to a relevant audience, and will obtain crucial feedback on their work. The conference will feature a special lunch session on careers in disease ecology, especially designed to allow students and post-doctoral scholars the opportunity to meet and ask questions of researchers and professionals in fields beyond academic science, including government agencies and science writing and communication.