Immune-Pathogen Dynamics & Modelling Simple Multispecies Interactions

Paul Hurtado
Mathematical Biosciences Institute & Aquatic Ecology Laboratory, The Ohio State University

(January 19, 2012 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM)

Immune-Pathogen Dynamics & Modelling Simple Multispecies Interactions

Abstract

In this two part talk I will summarize work from my Ph.D. thesis, then introduce some ongoing projects as an MBI Postdoctoral Fellow and part of OSU's Aquatic Ecology Laboratory (AEL). The first part of this talk will focus on an infectious disease in house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) and other wild birds caused by the pathogen Mycoplasma gallisepticum. After introducing the biological system, I will present results from a mathematical model of the immune-pathogen interaction which address the immune system's role in mediating disease symptoms and controlling infection. For the second part of the talk, we will shift gears and consider population dynamics in the context of simple aquatic food webs. I will start off with a brief but general introduction of the biology. I will then present results from model that combines consumer-resource (predator-prey) and host-parasite interactions. These results describe the consequences of some unexpected connections between consumer-resource and host-parasite interactions, as motivated by recent empirical findings from the study of Daphnia (a kind of freshwater zooplankton) their parasites and Daphnia's algal food source. The last part of the talk will introduce two ongoing projects with Stuart Ludsin and others at the AEL. The first of these focuses on the role of hypoxia in shaping disease risk among fish. The second investigates the importance of an aquatic larval insect (phantom midges; family Chaoboridae) in freshwater lakes and reservoirs in Ohio by modelling how they affect the dynamics of those ecosystems.