I work in the Departments of Entomology and Biology and at the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics of the Pennsylvania State University. My main interests are population ecology/dynamics and ecological epidemiology with particular emphasis on mathematical and computational aspects. I am also an adjunct faculty in the department of Statistics and carry out research in statistical ecology and in methods for analyzing spatiotemporal data.
Much of my work is of a collaborative nature working with students, postdocs and faculty locally and across universities worldwide. I currently (or recently) work on the ecology of infectious disease with Bryan Grenfell (no longer at Cambridge;-) and Andy Dobson (Princeton); theoretical and empirical aspects of spatial synchrony in population dynamics with Ben Bolker (U Florida), Sandy Liebhold (USDA Forest service) and Jordi Bascompte (Sevilla); Age-structured dynamics of fish with Jean-Marc Fromentin (IFREMER), Roger Nisbet (UC Santa Barbara) and Nils Stenseth (Oslo); Stage-structured dynamics of insects with Mike Begon and Steve Sait (Liverpool); Spatial dynamics and masting dynamics of plants with Mark Rees (Sheffield) and Eric Seabloom (OSU); and more.
If you wish to be part of any of these studies as a student, postdoc or collaborator: Browse on, check out details on the research and contact me.
My work has several interrelated themes:
- Population dynamics – how do the interactions between individuals and between individuals and the environment determine fluctuations in abundance?
- Interactions between species – how do competition, predation and parasitism affect dynamics?
- Spatial dynamics – what causes regional synchrony or asynchrony in fluctuations? What causes regional transitions in population dynamics
- Ecology of infectious disease – how do host and pathogen characteristics affect incidence of disease? Partly as an integral part of (1-4) and partly as a separate research area, I am also interested in the foundations of confronting theory with data. My fifth theme is-
- Ecological statistics – how can we test the theories about spatiotemporal variation using abundance data?
Some recent key issues and focal systems
- The stage-structured dynamics of the Indian meal moth and its interactions with viral and parasitoid natural enemies (with Mike Begon and Steve Sait) [life cycle] [publications]
- The age-structured dynamics of the atlantic cod: Why both cycles and trends (with Jean-Marc Fromentin, Roger Nisbet and Nils Stenseth) [the model] [publications]
- The nonlinear dynamics of disease dynamics: measles transmission (with Bryan Grenfell) [download - Measles: the movie] [the TSIR model][publications]
- Spatial dynamics: causes and consequences of synchrony in animal populations (with Jordi Bascompte, Ben Bolker and Andrew Liebhold) [a model] [publications]
- Biogeographic variation in population dynamics: What causes transitions from stability and cyclicity in animal species (with Nils Stenseth) [the gradient] [publications]