E-IPER Dissertation Defense: Laura Bloomfield "At the Edge of Zoonotic Spillover: Land Use, Human-Primate Contact and Social Networks in Western Uganda"

Friday, May 18, 2018

11:00 am

Y2E2 299

Sponsored by:
Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment & Resources


Zoonotic diseases, caused by pathogens that are transmitted from animals, account for the majority of emerging infectious disease events in humans. Due to genetic similarities, infections from wild nonhuman primates (hereafter primates) pose particular risks to people. In this dissertation, I investigate the ways in which forest fragmentation and human behaviors contribute to human-primate contact, evaluate evidence of primate retroviral spillover, and explore how local social structure relates to the epidemic potential of an emerging zoonotic infection in an agrarian population. Studying communities along the northwestern edge of Kibale National Park in western Uganda, this project brings together behavioral, spatial, serological, and relational data from surveys, remote sensing, diagnostic testing, and egocentric network techniques to better understand the conditions under which zoonotic spillover can occur. This work contributes to our understanding of how land use influences human-primate interactions, how human behavior affects the risk of pathogenic exposure, and assesses the potential for a single spillover event to transmit across sparsely populated areas near animal reservoirs of infection. In light of increased human mobility and continued encroachment on animal habitats, understanding the relationships between ecological, social, and epidemiological factors influencing opportunities for cross-species infection transmission is of substantial importance.

Friday, May 18, 2018
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Y2E2 299

PhD Oral Environment Health / Wellness 

Faculty/Staff, Students, Alumni/Friends, Members
650-725-7005, gmagana@stanford.edu