What determines disease risk in complex ecological communities? How are pathogen communities structured within host plants? And how are host plant and pathogen diversity and interactions shaped by land use and climate change? The Disease Ecology and Diversity Lab’s research studies host and pathogen communities to address these questions. Within hosts, we ask how the assembly of pathogen communities is shaped by interactions with their hosts, other pathogens, other members of the microbiome, and the environment. Across landscapes, we ask how hosts’ disease risk is shaped directly and indirectly by the ecological factors that structure host communities.
We use a combination of lab and greenhouse experiments, field experiments, large-sale surveys, and data synthesis in our research, and strive to make our research accessible and useful to students, researchers, and practitioners here in Oregon and abroad. We do this because understanding the factors that determine the diversity and abundance of pathogens is critical for maintaining human, agricultural, and landscape health in our changing world.