Our ability to control infectious diseases relies on a better understanding of epidemiological and evolutionary dynamics of pathogens. I will develop a research program combining theoretical and experimental approaches. First, I will extend the theoretical framework of evolutionary epidemiology into several new directions to study (1) the evolution of host and pathogen key life-history traits (parasite virulence, host resistance and host manipulation by the parasite) and, (2) the dynamics of adaptation of pathogens in constant and variable environments. This part of the project will be grounded on both mathematical epidemiology and population genetics. Second, I will use two biological models to test some of these theoretical predictions both in the laboratory and in the field: (1) I will study the interaction between the avian malaria parasite (Plasmodium relictum) and its mosquito vector (Culex pipiens) to test some of the predictions generated on life-history evolution, and in particular on host manipulation by the parasite. (2) I will study the evolutionary dynamics of the coliphage phix174 under different scenarios of environmental heterogeneity to test the predictions issued from models on the dynamics of adaptation in variable environments. In addition, I will measure patterns of adaptation across space and time using natural samples of viral and bacterial communities. The originality of this project lays in the combination of different perspectives on the dynamics of infectious diseases, ranging from theoretical population genetics to experimental behavioural ecology and evolution. Combining these different perspectives will yield a more comprehensive view of the dynamics of infectious diseases and contribute to the improvement of public-health interventions.
Field of science
- /medical and health sciences/health sciences/epidemiology
- /natural sciences/biological sciences/genetics and heredity
- /natural sciences/biological sciences/biological behavioural sciences/behavioural ecology
Call for proposal
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