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Marburg virus. Credit: Tom Geisbert (CDC)

Pulliam Lab

Department of Biology and Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida


Quantitative Disease Ecology and Viral Host Jumps

The Pulliam lab is located within the University of Florida’s Department of Biology and Emerging Pathogens Institute. The lab focuses on viral pathogens that are transmitted between host species and on the interactions between human, domestic animal, and wildlife health. Viruses are the most common cause of emerging infectious diseases and constitute 40-60% of emerging pathogens of humans, livestock, domestic carnivores, and wildlife. Furthermore, the majority (~60%) of documented emergence events between 1940 and 2004 were caused by zoonoses (pathogens transmitted from animals to humans), indicating that cross-species transmission is a particularly important process underlying pathogen emergence.

We address both applied questions regarding the prevention and control of viral pathogens in novel host species and fundamental questions regarding the determinants and dynamics of viral host jumps. We approach these questions primarily through quantitative analysis, including both statistical and dynamical modeling.