Javier Pérez-Tris (Complutense University of Madrid) | December 13, 2013 | 14h30 | CIBIO’s Auditorium, Campus de Vairão

 

 

Emerging infectious diseases are a major threat to biodiversity, especially now that globalized human activities have increased the chances to disperse new pathogens worldwide. We are therefore urged to identify what factors may promote pathogen dispersal in order to prevent further disease spread. During the last decade, we have been investigating these issues using birds and malaria parasites as a model system, which has allowed us to identify different factors influencing disease risk at different spatial scales. These include large-scale and local environmental influences (such as climate or habitat structure), human impacts, and the characteristics of both biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems. This information gives us some clues about how to prevent and alleviate current and future disease threats to biodiversity.

 

 

Javier Pérez-Tris is Professor of Zoology at Complutense University of Madrid, Spain. His research interests span the fields of evolutionary biology, biogeography, behavioural ecology and conservation biology. He has always been captivated by bird migration, an interest which led him to look at how diversity of migration patterns affects the interactions between birds and their symbionts (commensals, mutualists or parasites). Recently, his research focuses on the ecological and evolutionary processes that promote symbiont diversity within the same host species.

 

Image credits: wildlifcimages.com.au