Media Tip Sheet: Zoonotic Diseases

Featured presentations at the 105th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America

July 28, 2020
For Immediate Release

Contact: Heidi Swanson, 202-833-8773 ext. 211, gro.asenull@idieh

The COVID-19 pandemic has made the threat of zoonotic diseases — those that can be transmitted to humans from non-human animals — all too clear. Not only can these diseases be deadly; they often exist within a complicated ecological web, with multiple host species that can be infected and, in some cases, a separate species that serves as a vector, transmitting the pathogen between hosts. All of this makes predicting and controlling disease spread extremely challenging. These presentations, available on-demand to registered attendees of the Ecological Society of America’s upcoming virtual meeting, August 3-6, 2020, describe efforts to apply ecological theory and tools to the fight against zoonotic diseases.


Virtual On-Demand Talks:

Impacts of climate on vector-borne disease transmission
Presenter: Erin A. Mordecai, Stanford University
August 4, 10AM EDT: A live Q&A session will be held via Zoom for this and other presentations within the ESA Early Career Fellows and Mercer Award Symposium

Climate change will drive novel cross-species viral transmission
Presenter: Colin J. Carlson, Georgetown University

Forecasting for public health: Forecasting challenges for vector-borne diseases
Presenter: Michael Johansson, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
August 4, 12:30PM EDT: A live Q&A session will be held via Zoom for this and other presentations within the organized oral session Ecological Forecasting: Applications, Discoveries, and Opportunities

Integrating fine-scale deer movement to predict urban tick-borne disease risk
Presenter: Meredith VanAcker, Columbia University

The effects of forest loss on wildlife and disease vector communities in southern Amazonia
Presenter: Aimee Massey, Oregon State University

Throwing shade: Large mammalian herbivores alter survival of arthropod disease vectors through changes in understory vegetation, but effects are density and climate dependent
Presenter: Devyn Orr, University of California Santa Barbara

Climate drives spatial variation in Zika epidemics in Latin America
Presenter: Mallory J. Harris, Stanford University

A tale of rats in two cities: Spatial variation in rodent-borne disease risk in NYC and Salvador, Brazil
Presenter: Jonathan L. Richardson, University of Richmond
August 5, 12:30PM EDT: A live Q&A session will be held via Zoom for this and other presentations within the symposium Invasive Species and Infectious Diseases: Interactive Effects in Ecological Communities

Prevalence and infection intensity of a parasitic nematode (Angiostrongylus cantonensis aka the rat lungworm) is determined by gastropod host characteristics and rainfall
Presenter: Randi L. Rollins, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Incorporating infectious disease transmission into land-use planning
Presenter: Morgan Kain, Stanford University

Dose-response relationships can mute or reverse biodiversity disease patterns
Presenter: Patrick A. Clay, University of Michigan



Impact of prior and projected climate change on US Lyme disease incidence
Presenter: Lisa I. Couper, Stanford University

Host specialization may influence Borrelia burgdorferi strain persistence transmitted by Ixodes scapularis ticks
Presenter: Danielle M. Tufts, Columbia University

Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi among rodents in central Florida
Presenter: Terykah Hollis, Stetson University

In the heart of the city: Trypanosoma cruzi infection prevalence in rodents across New Orleans
Presenter: Nathaniel Lee Gibson, University of Tennessee

Coinfection of arthropod-borne pathogens in potential rodent reservoirs in northern Illinois
Presenter: Sean Beckmann, Stetson University


ESA Policy on Press Credentials
The Ecological Society of America (ESA) is offering complimentary registration at the 105th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America for press and institutional public information officers (see credential policy). The meeting is 100% virtual and will feature live plenaries, panels and Q&A sessions from August 3—6, 2020. Other sessions will be available for viewing on demand (both during and after the meeting) with asynchronous Q&A. To apply for press registration, please contact ESA Public Information Manager Heidi Swanson at gro.asenull@idieh.

Virtual Press Room

Pre-registered press will be offered access to a virtual press room.

Press Room hours:
Monday, August 3 — Thursday, August 6: 10:00 am — 5:00 pm EDT



The Ecological Society of America, founded in 1915, is the worlds largest community of professional ecologists and a trusted source of ecological knowledge, committed to advancing the understanding of life on Earth. The 9,000-member Society publishes five journals and a membership bulletin, and broadly shares ecological information through policy, media outreach, and education initiatives. The Society’s Annual Meeting attracts 4,000 attendees and features the most recent advances in ecological science. Visit the ESA website at