Spillover Working Group

Formed as part of the President’s Interdisciplinary Seed Grant program, this group aims to develop novel data products, quantitative methods, and theory on the drivers of zoonotic spillover and the geography of emerging infectious diseases.  We seek to build new tools for predictive modeling and risk mapping that provide an economic perspective on global disease surveillance.  This group is chaired by Patrick Stephens.

Current Projects

Spillover of Ebola and other filoviruses at ecological boundaries

Investigators: Patrick Stephens (PI), John Drake (co-PI), Susana Ferreira (co-PI), Nicole Gottdenker (co-PI), JP Schmidt (co-PI)

Postdoc & Student Participants: Jonathan Wilson

Contact: Patrick R Stephens 

This project investigates the environmental, ecological and anthropogenic factors that promote disease spillover at ecological boundaries, focusing on the factors that promote spillover in Ebola and other filoviruses in Africa.

For more information on this project, read the press release for the awarded NIH grant.

Social and ecological determinants of multi-host vector-borne infections in dynamic tropical landscapes

This project is an international, interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers associated with CEID, the UGA Department of Anthropology, and the Gorgas Memorial Institute of Health Studies in Panama.

Investigators: Sonia Altizer, Jose Calzada, Luis Fernando Chaves, John Drake, Nicole Gottdenker, Richard Hall, Azael Saldaña, JP Schmidt, Susan Tanner, & Julie Velásquez Runk

Postdoc & Student ParticipantsNicole Solano-Asamoah, Yaravi Suarez, John Vinson

Contact: John Drake

This project studies how the ecology and behavior of insect vectors for zoonotic protozoal diseases, and associated human risk of exposure to Chagas disease and cutaneous Leishmaniasis, depend on habitat state and environmental characteristics, including the presence of anthropogenically adapted reservoir hosts, and how human attitudes about environmental conditions affect landscape-modifying activities.  This project also examines how perception of the risk of exposure to Chagas and cutaneous Leishmaniasis affects human behavior, and how changes in human behavior affect risk of exposure.

For more information on this project, read the press release for awarded NSF grant.

Top 100 Largest Outbreaks

Participants: Nicole Gottdenker, Annakate Schatz, JP Schmidt, Patrick R Stephens, John Drake

Contact: Patrick R Stephens 

This project seeks to identify how drivers and characteristics of the 100 largest recent outbreaks listed in the GIDEON Guide to Outbreaks differ from those of a typical outbreak. The 100 largest outbreaks, in terms of number of cases, since 1977 were compared to 200 randomly chosen background outbreaks from the same time period. 

Economic Impact of Spillover

Participants: Susana Ferreira, Mauricio Rodriguez Gomez, JP Schmidt

Contact: JP Schmidt 

This project seeks to estimate the effects of infectious disease outbreaks on economic growth.

Spillover Review of Reviews

Participants: Cecilia Sanchez, Joy Vaz, John Drake

Contact: Cecilia Sanchez 

Goal: The goal of this project was to draw from a number of scientific disciplines to learn more about important spillover concepts from different (i.e. broader than ecology) perspectives. We also assessed conceptual overlap between disciplines and identified research gaps.  A manuscript is in press in Ecology Letters. 

Working Group Members

Sonia Altizer                               Reni Kaul                       Cecilia Sánchez              Joy Vaz

John Drake                                 Drew Kramer                 Annakate Schatz           Jonathan Wilson

Susana Ferreira                         Eric Marty                       JP Schmidt

Nicole Gottdenker                     Trippe Ross                    Patrick Stephens

Richard Hall                               Liliana Salvador             Didi Suarez