Conference on the Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases
University of Georgia May 20-23, 2009

Conference venue: Classic Center | 300 N Thomas Street | Athens, GA 30601


Conference theme: Infectious disease dynamics in multi-host multi-pathogen communities

The majority of pathogens, including most human emerging infectious diseases, can infect more than one host species. The spread of these multi-host pathogens can be affected by intrinsic properties of hosts and pathogens, interactions between host species, and biodiversity at larger scales. In addition, rarely do host individuals or populations harbor a single type of parasite, and hosts that are co-infected by multiple parasite species or strains are common in natural systems and many human populations. Interactions between parasitic organisms can occur within hosts (for example, infection by one parasite can either enhance or protect against infection by other parasites) and at the population level. Developing a predictive science of the dynamics of these complex interactions among hosts and parasites requires collaboration among scientists with diverse expertise including veterinary and medical sciences, microbiology and immunology, epidemiology of infectious diseases, and ecology and evolutionary biology.



Conference schedule (click here for the full conference program)

Wednesday, May 20
Participants arrive, transportation from ATL to Athens
7:00pm-10:30pm Registration and reception, Classic Center Firehall

Thursday, May 21
8:30am Welcome and opening remarks, Classic Center, Grand Hall South

9:00am-12:00pm Session 1: Dynamics of multi-host pathogens
Speakers will address the ecological dynamics and evolution of pathogens that infect multiple host species in human and natural systems
Format: 6 speakers, with a mid-morning break (10:20-10:40) and a synthesis to conclude the session. Moderator: Pej Rohani

9:00-9:40 Mike Antolin Colorado State University Hierarchies of selection drive the evolution of host range in pathogens and parasites
9:40-10:00 Meggan Craft University of Glasgow

Dynamics of multihost pathogens in Serengeti carnivores

10:00-10:20 Elizabeth Borer Oregon State University Location, location, location: context is the driver of infection by a vector-borne generalist grass pathogen group
10:20-10:40   BREAK  
10:40-11:00 James Lloyd-Smith UCLA Spillover dynamics of monkeypox in humans
11:00-11:20 Britt Koskella University of Oxford Bacteria-phage coevolution in the phyllosphere
11:20-11:40 Jim Porter University of Georgia Reversal of fortune: human pathogens killing coral in the Florida Keys
11:40-12:00 Synthesis session   Led by: Amy Pedersen, Marm Kilpatrick, Meghan Duffy

12:00pm-1:30pm Lunch (on your own)

1:30pm-5:00pm Session 2: Co-infections and dynamics of multi-pathogen interactions
Speakers will focus on direct and indirect interactions between parasites, and consequences for epidemiology and evolution
Format: 7 speakers, with a mid-afternoon break (2:50-3:10) and a synthesis to conclude the session. Moderator: John Drake

1:30-2:10 Sunetra Gupta Oxford University The transmission dynamics of influenza
2:10-2:30 Dave Stallknecht University of Georgia Exotic orboviruses in the United States: the invasion of occupied habitat
2:30-2:50 Andrea Graham University of Edinburgh How well can immune systems multi-task, and how well should they?
2:50-3:10   BREAK  
3:10-3:30 Andrew Wargo University of Washington Virulence tradeoffs in a vertebrate virus
3:30-3:50 Rubing Chen Penn State University The clever hitchhiker: rapid fixation of internal segments of avian influenza viruses
3:50-4:10 Lisa Murphy University of Glasgow

Immunoepidemiology of a gastrointestinal nematode in single and co-infections

4:10-4:30 Matt Ferrari Penn State University

Damned if you do, damned if you don't: non-target pathogen effects on viral resistance transgenes in wild gourds

4:30-4:50 Synthesis session   Led by : Helen Wearing, Kim Pepin

6:30pm- Dinner (on your own, downtown Athens)

Friday, May 22
8:30am Announcements and logistics, Classic Center, Grand Hall South

9:00am-12:00pm Session 3: Dynamics of pathogens with multiple transmission modes and other heterogeneities
Speakers will examine the synergy and conflict between multiple transmission routes and their consequences for host-pathogen dynamics
Format: 6 speakers, with a mid-morning break (10:20-10:40) and a synthesis to conclude the session. Moderator: Erin Lipp

9:00-9:40 Greg Dwyer University of Chicago Insect outbreaks and heterogeneity in resistance to pathogens
9:40-10:00 Ken Eames London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Human social contact patterns and the spread of infection
10:00-10:20 Drew Harvell Cornell University The aspergillus-sea fan epizootic: modelling a moving target and the evolution of resistance
10:20-10:40   BREAK  
10:40-11:00 Raina Plowright Penn State University Urban habituation, ecological connectivity and epidemic dampening: the emergence of Hendra virus from flying foxes
11:00-11:20 Pej Rohani University of Georgia Environmental transmission and the ecology of avian influenza viruses
11:20-11:40 Aaron King University of Michigan Cholera in Bengal: multiple transmission modes, multiple infection outcomes
11:40-12:00 Synthesis session   Led by : Olivier Restif, Katie Hampson

12:00pm-1:30pm Lunch (on your own)

1:30pm-3:00pm Session 4: Consequences for pathogen emergence and control
Speakers will focus on the specific challenges posted by complex community-level interactions for managing disease-related threats. Format: 3 speakers, with a synthesis to conclude the session. Moderator: Sonia Altizer

1:30-2:10 Derek Smith University of Cambridge Antigenic drift of influenza viruses
2:10-2:30 Angela McLean University of Oxford Adaptation of zoonotic pathogens to human transmission
2:30-2:50 Colin Parrish Cornell University Host switching and viral emergence
2:50-3:20   BREAK  

3:30pm Overview of poster presentations (1 min PPT slides) Moderator: Sonia Altizer

5:00pm Poster Session; Grand Hall South 1, Classic Center

7:00-9:00pm Dinner/BBQ; Empire Room, Foundry Park Building

Saturday, May 23
9:00am-4:00pm Hike, outdoor lunch

6:00pm Group discussion on North Lawn of UGA Campus

7:00 Dinner/social at Transmetropolitan Pizza, 145 E Clayton St, Athens