My area of interest is the spatial ecology of disease. Emerging zoonoses are an ever present threat, as highlighted by the recent Ebola outbreak and subsequent spread around the world. It is therefore important to understand the nature of transmission in the context of the heterogeneities of populations, arising from the spatial distribution of individuals and how these affect infection risk by parasites with different transmission modes.
Additionally, I am interested in the community ecology of parasites. To what extent do parasites compete? Are there mutualisms that support transmission?
To answer these questions, I am analysing a large data set of rodent hosts and some 30 of their parasites, captured at fine spatial and temporal scales with spatio-temporal statistical methods. Complementing these analyses, I will also be developing general theory to explore how different parasites should be incorporated into our understanding of food web structure and dynamics.
I am working under the supervision of Andy Fenton and Mike Begon, as well as collaborating with Amy Pedersen from the University of Edinburgh and Owen Petchey from the University of Zurich.
Lyimo, I.N., Keegan, S.P., Ranford-Cartwright, L.C., and Ferguson, H.M. (2012) The impact of uniform and mixed species blood meals on the fitness of the mosquito vector Anopheles gambiae s.s: does a specialist pay for diversifying its host species diet? Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 25(3), pp. 452-460. (doi:10.1111/j.1420-9101.2011.02442.x)