Chelsea Wood, Category Winner 2014 – Ecology and Environment

Chelsea Wood


Dr. Wood received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College and her Ph.D. from Stanford University. She did postdoctoral research in Pieter Johnson’s lab at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and is currently a Fellow in the Michigan Society of Fellows and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan. She is interested in how parasites and pathogens respond to human impacts on the environment.


Environmental change and the ecology of infectious disease

More than half of all the infectious diseases that affect humans are zoonoses—pathogens naturally transmitted from animals. Because a substantial proportion of these diseases originate in wildlife, environmental context drives patterns of transmission. But despite the strong influence of environment on zoonotic pathogens, considerable uncertainty exists as to whether and how anthropogenic environmental change modulates disease risk.