James L. Carmon Honorarium 2020
Claire Teitelbaum, a doctoral candidate in the Odum School of Ecology, is developing a set of network models to understand movement patterns and pathogen transmission among nomadic white ibis populations in rapidly urbanizing Palm Beach County, Florida. White ibis, a waterbird, have a radically different diet and potentially higher exposure to pathogens such as Salmonella at urban sites in the county compared to natural sites. Teitelbaum uses GPS-derived field data to track when and where individuals travel across this habitat network. She will identify land cover attributes associated with the network’s different habitats and quantify individual birds’ movements, providing clues about how and when Salmonella could spread. Unlike many other existing disease models, Teitelbaum’s research includes a spatial component that will help quantify how urbanization affects disease dynamics across many different sites. She will provide a template for integrating movement data and disease modeling that could be applied to many emerging and zoonotic diseases in human-modified landscapes.