2801 Sharon Turnpike; P.O. Box ABMillbrook NY 12545-0129, USA
Dr. Ostfeld's research focuses on the interactions among organisms that influence: the risk of human exposure to vector-borne diseases; and the dynamics of terrestrial communities (e.g., tree regeneration, rodent and songbird populations, gypsy moths).
Biodiversity can protect human health by reducing the probability of human exposure to disease agents transmitted from wildlife. Human-induced environmental changes, such as habitat fragmentation, can inadvertently increase disease risk by reducing both predators and biodiversity.
In deciduous and coniferous forests dominated by mast-producing trees, such as oaks, consumers are confronted with the sporadic production of abundant resources. Mast-consuming animals, such as the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) and eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus), rely on these pulsed resources.
Different species of tick hosts tend to have different probabilities of transmitting an infection to a feeding tick. In eastern and central North America, the host most likely to transmit an infection to a feeding tick is the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus), which infects between 40% and 90% of feeding larvae.
In areas where Lyme disease is endemic, it is desirable to control populations of native ticks, which transmit several pathogens to humans causing Lyme and other diseases.
Oxford University Press, 2011
Princeton University Press, 2008
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343