Quinn Webber

Email Address
[email protected]
Research Areas
Research Keywords
Research Description

Our lab studies how behaviour of caribou and bats affects parasite and pathogen dynamics. Most people never encounter bats or caribou in the wild. We are privileged to visit amazing and remote corners of Canada to study these majestic species. Our work takes a One Health approach to tackle the conservation issues faced by these species by integrating human, animal, and environmental health.

Research Summary

Parasites and pathogens are ubiquitous in nature. Some pathogens require host social contact for transmission, while others are transmitted through an environmental reservoir. For animals, among the most important drivers of parasite infection is behaviour. Our research program investigates the costs (parasitism) and benefits (fitness) of social and spatial behaviours in animal species of conservation concern. Specifically, bats are reservoir hosts to pathogens of human health concern and face declines due to white-nose syndrome. Caribou populations are in decline due to habitat destruction, climate change, and parasitism. In summary, our research group integrates theory across multiple ecological disciplines to tackle complex conservation and One Health problems.

Techniques Used

Social network analysis, habitat selection analyses, quantitative genetics, spatial and movement analyses.

Lab Equipment

We are primarily field based and use biotelemetry, satellite GPS collars, radio-frequency identification, and focal observations to collect data on animal behaviour. We also collect parasites and pathogens from the environment and from hosts using a variety of techniques.

Locations of international collaborators

Utah State University, Georgetown University, University of California Los Angeles, Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior.

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