Modelling multi-host pathogens for biodiversity conservation

Infectious pathogens pose a substantial threat to a wide range of endangered wildlife.

However, the cryptic nature of disease in wildlife and the difficulty of carrying out empirical studies to determine the efficacy of different management strategies mean it is often difficult to determine how best to intervene to protect threatened species from pathogen-driven extinction.

I simply wish that … no decision shall be made without all the knowledge which a little analysis and calculation can provide – Daniel Bernoulli

Modelling can provide a quantitative preliminary assessment to help identify management strategies likely to be effective.

I am therefore developing models incorporating both demography and epidemiology in order to help assess conservation management strategies for two case studies: rabies in African wild dogs, and Ebola in western gorillas.

This project is carried out at the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College London and the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, supervised by Professor Christl Donnelly and Professor Rosie Woodroffe. The project is funded by NERC through the the Science and Solution for a Changing Planet Doctoral Training Programme, in partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society.