Moving forward with spatial disease models: Movement ecology improves predictions for disease spread

Global change is altering patterns of wildlife movement, and in turn, how they spread parasites over the landscape. Infectious disease outbreaks from parasite spread threaten public health and biodiversity. Yet, there remains much uncertainty over the extent to which wildlife movements contribute to parasite spread that hinders disease control efforts. For this talk, I will present a new model for predicting the impact of host migrations, dispersal and other movements on the spatial spread of parasites, and use the model to explain the factors that determine whether wildlife movements facilitate or inhibit parasite spread. I will also present my field and experimental studies of amphibians that quantified the effect of their movements on the dynamics of the fungal parasite, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.