Infectious diseases can cause dramatic consequences for people, wildlife and farming. To prevent or alleviate these, Dr. Ailene MacPherson, Canada Research Chair in Theoretical Evolutionary Epidemiology, is merging advances in genomics and human and veterinary health to address fundamental questions in epidemiology and conservation.
She and her research team are developing and testing methods to allow public health practitioners to characterize emergent infectious diseases from the analysis of viral genomic data. They are also working on methods to analyze the evolution and impact of infectious diseases in wildlife and developing tools to help conservation biologists address the threats posed by these pathogens. Ultimately, their work will address important questions at the intersection of evolution, ecology and epidemiology, and will have applications in scenarios ranging from pandemic control to conservation.