Computational Biology Seminar Series for Undergraduates

Sponsored by the Department of Biological Sciences and the Center for Computation & Technology

Disease, Trees, and Cannibalism: Insect Host-Pathogen Interactions


The use of mechanistic models to describe the spread of a disease through a susceptible population has a long and storied history in epidemiology and ecology. Here, I will explore the ways in which disease works its way through a population using an easily manipulated insect host-pathogen system. Computationally, I take advantage of a variety of tools that allow me to compare experimental and observational data with mathematical models to determine what factors either limit or enhance disease spread. While disease rules the day in these systems, plant/food resource quality and cannibalism add considerable wrinkles to the dynamics.


Dr. Elderd is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at LSU. He uses a variety of computational tools to ask questions about disease ecology and population dynamics. Prior to working at LSU, Dr. Elderd conducted research in the wilds of Michigan, Mediterrean Islands of Italy, Sierra Nevada mountains of California, and the Llanos of Venezuela. Those experiences along with a healthy dose of math and statistics shapes how he thinks about ecological and evolutionary processes..

Bret Elderd

Louisiana State University, Biological Sciences

Associate Professor