Virulence trade-off hypothesis
Miguel Acevedo (former postdoc in the Elderd lab) is spearheading a meta-analysis investigating the (long assumed but rarely tested) trade-off between virulence and transmission. The idea behind the trade-off is that if virulence is too low, transmission will not occur (the flu can’t spread if you don’t sneeze, become mucosy, etc which have costs on your fitness) but if virulence is too high, the host will die before the pathogen can spread. So there must exist some happy medium in order to maximize pathogen spread.
Phragmites greenhouse experiment
Warwick Allen, now a postdoc at Lincoln University in New Zealand, conducted a massive field experiment investigating different factors influencing the growth of phragmites and spartina. This project was in collaboration with Jim Cronin and Laura Meyerson. Warwick just had this paper accepted, hooray!
This project was started with Justin Calabrese, Lauren Frazee, Trisha Spanbauer, Jimena Golcher-Benavides and Chris Holmes during our trip to Costa Rica for OTS in 2012. We are modeling ant patrol rates on plants. This project is being revived and the manuscript is in the works!
Projects I’ve helped with
Collecting Sticks and investigating insect emergence in Louisiana (PDF from ML Ferro)