Mathematical Biology and Modeling

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Transmission is the most important component of epidemiological models of disease. However, macroparasites like trematodes, with complex, multi-host life cycles have received little previous theoretical or empirical study. Therefore, I have developed differential equation models of transmission and have conducted empirical tests of those models with Ribeiroia ondatrae as a model macroparasite and Pacific Chorus Frog (Pseudacris regilla) tadpoles as focal hosts.

Below: Experiment testing the effect of host densty on macroparasite transmission. Top R: Counting cercariae of Ribeiroia ondatrae (small white specks) on a dissecting microscope. Bottom R: Pacific Chorus Frog tadpoles (Pseudacris regilla).