University of Warwick
Rift Valley fever virus at a wildlife livestock interface: how do host and mosquito ecology influence infection dynamics?
- Dr Erin Gorsich
- Dr David Chandler
Wildlife and livestock form the economic backbone of many communities in Africa through income streams from tourism, meat, milk, and wool/hide production. Yet, proximity of wildlife can jeopardize the viability of livestock operations via shared infectious diseases, some of which are maintained in wildlife populations and can spill over into livestock. My PhD investigates how Rift Valley fever disease transmission occurs in areas where wildlife and livestock co-occur. More generally, this work will provide information on how an infectious disease capable of transmitting between wildlife, livestock and people is maintained and spread.
I did my Undergraduate in Animal Science and MSc in Disease Ecology at the University of the Witwatersrand. I then worked as Faculty at the Organisation for Tropical Studies – Kruger National Park field station in South Africa for 5 years. During my time there, I participated in the training of students from various International Universities in Ecology, Conservation, One Health, and Global Health courses.
Why did you choose doctoral research?
The entire research process from problem identification right through data collection up until the write up of my findings fascinates me. My ultimate satisfaction comes when my findings are applied to inform and improve relevant scientific practices.
Why did you choose CENTA?
The multidisciplinary nature of CENTA is what attracted me the most to the studentship. This aligns closely with my interests in the One Health concept. A unifying approach that calls for the collaborative efforts of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally, to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals, and ecosystems.
This will help improve my skills to better understand and contribute to addressing the complexities of human, animal and environmental health in the face of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.