I'm a postdoctoral fellow at Indiana University, where I am funded by an Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Research Fellowship to work with Ellen Ketterson and Richard Hall (University of Georgia) on modeling how shifts in migratory behavior (driven by urbanization and supplemental feeding, among other factors) influence infectious disease dynamics in dark-eyed junco populations.
I recently completed a year-long postdoctoral position at Montana State University, where I worked with Raina Plowright on the spatial and temporal dynamics of bat viral spillover. I received my PhD in 2017 from the University of Georgia, where I worked with Sonia Altizer and Daniel Streicker on resource provisioning and wildlife disease, especially on developing novel theory and on empirical work centered around vampire bats (livestock intensification) and white ibis (supplemental feeding).
I'm interested in how environmental change alters zoonotic disease risks. My research combines theoretical models, macroecology, and mark-recapture field studies to ask how zoonotic pathogens are transmitted and persist in reservoir host populations, how anthropogenic shifts in food resources alter reservoir host immunity and infection, and whether reservoir competence is predictable across spatial and taxonomic scales. I'm especially interested in how these approaches can predict risks of zoonotic pathogen spillover from bat and bird species in particular. I maintain a longitudinal study of vampire bat diet and infection dynamics in Belize (with the AMNH) and collaborate on a large DARPA-funded project on immunology and bacterial infection in urbanized flying foxes (MSU). I am also initiating a longitudinal study of immunology and infection in sedentary juncos in Ohio.
Please feel free to get in touch for potential collaborations on theoretical ecology, immunology of natural populations, meta-analyses and comparative methods, and field studies of infections in wild birds or bats. I am also interested in mentoring students and conducting workshops on these topics.
© Daniel J. Becker, 2019. All rights reserved.