Val McKenzie
Associate Professor • EBIO Graduate Program Director • Ph.D., University of California Santa Barbara, 2005

Ramaley C185 (lab)

Research Interests

My research interests combine the fields of parasitology, disease ecology, conservation biology, and herpetology. I work in a variety of places ranging from locally in Colorado to tropical rainforests. Many of my current projects involve fieldwork, labwork, meta-analyses, and applied conservation activities. Parasites and pathogens are ubiquitous and rival the diversity of free-living organisms on the planet. As global environments are changing rapidly, we are beginning to observe increases in infectious disease prevalence in both humans and wildlife. In order to understand patterns of emerging disease across the diverse spectrum of parasitic organisms, we must integrate several disciplines and ask questions at scales ranging from genetic and population levels to community and ecosystem levels. I am most interested in understanding the ways in which anthropogenic disturbances (e.g., land use, invasive species, wetland management) affect the parasites and pathogens of humans and wildlife. In the realm of conservation biology, the goal of my research is to identify key factors that lead to shifts in the abundance and distribution of parasites and pathogens in order to offer ecologically informed solutions to mitigate disease threats to vulnerable wildlife species.

Selected Publications

Johnson, P.T.J., Townsend, A.R., Cleveland, C.C., Glibert, P.,