Working Group in Pathogenic and Commensal Organisms
Organizers are Charles Nunn, Hillary Young, Gavin Smith and Jeffrey Vincent. The goal of the meeting is to understand how changes in biodiversity impact infectious disease risk in humans and wildlife. Remarkably little effort has synthesized either theory or data on the efficacy of biodiversity and conservation practices as a disease management strategy, the effects of different anthropogenic changes on infectious disease risk in the tropics, or the impacts of different conservation strategies on human health. We will take a broad view on this important issue by examining the many potential links between changes in biodiversity and infectious disease risk, and by considering the diversity of ways to investigate these questions using empirical and theoretical approaches. We will also engage with the conflicting views that natural systems appear to buffer some disease risks, yet they can also serve as the source of new infectious diseases.
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