Christopher Comer, Dean
Assistant Professor of Population and Disease Ecology
- Conservation of Wildlife Populations (WILD 470)
- Theoretical Ecology (WILD 595)
- Communicating Science (WILD 595)
- Ecology of Infectious Diseases (WILD 491)
Post-doctoral: Princeton University, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Princeton, NJ (2014); Colorado State University, Department of Biology, Fort Collins, CO & Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (2010-2013)
Ph.D.: Ecology, Penn State University, University Park, PA (2010)
B.S.: Zoology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (2000)
My research lies at the intersection of population, community and disease ecology. A particular focus is the importance of host ecology in determining disease dynamics in wildlife. I explore questions, such as:
- The importance of host population dynamics in determining disease dynamics.
- How interactions between hosts and their environment (climate, seasonality, habitat type, etc) affect disease dynamics.
- Can we predict when outbreaks will occur?
- What makes a good reservoir host for zoonotic disease (passed from animals to humans)?
- Are certain taxa more likely to host zoonotic pathogens?
- Are there certain host characteristics that correlate to hosting more pathogens?
- What leads to transmission of pathogens between species?
Because the underlying population and community ecology often have strong influences on disease dynamics, I’m also interested in broader questions of population ecology, such as
- How populations are regulated.
- The importance of bottom-up (primary productivity) versus top-down (predators) influences.
Luis, A.D., T.J. O’Shea, D.T.S. Hayman, J.L.N. Wood, A.A. Cunningham, A.T. Gilbert, J.N. Mills, C.T. Webb. 2015. Network analysis of host-virus communities in bats and rodents reveals determinants of cross-species transmission. Ecology Letters 18:1153-1162.
Luis, A.D., R.J. Douglass, J.N. Mills, O.N. Bjørnstad. 2015. Environmental fluctuations lead to predictability in Sin Nombre hantavirus outbreaks. Ecology 96:1691-1701.
Carver, S.S., J.N. Mills, C.A. Parmenter, R.R. Parmenter, K. Richardson, R.L. Harris, R.J. Douglass, A.J. Kuenzi, A.D. Luis. 2015. Toward a mechanistic understanding of environmentally forced zoonotic disease emergence: Sin Nombre hantavirus. Bioscience 65:651-666.
Tian H.Y.*, P.B. Yu*, A.D. Luis*, B. Peng, B. Cazalles, M. Laine, S.Q. Huang, C.F. Ma, S. Zhou, J. Wei, S. Li, X.L. Lu, J.H. Qu, J.H. Dong, S.L. Tong, J.J. Wang, B.T. Grenfell, B. Xu. 2015. Changes in rodent abundance and weather conditions potentially drive hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome outbreaks in Xi’an, China, 2005-2012. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 9:e0003530. (* equal contribution authors)
Pepin, K.M., C.B. Leach, C. Marques-Toledo, K.H. Lass, K.S. Paixao, A.D. Luis, D.T.S. Hayman, N. Johnson, M. Buhnerkepmpe, S.S. Carver, D.A. Grear, K. Tsao, A.E. Eiras, C.T. Webb. 2015. Utility of mosquito surveillance data for spatial prioritization of vector control against dengue viruses in three Brazilian cities. Parasites and Vectors 8:98.
Peel, A.J., J.R.C.Pulliam, A.D. Luis, R.K. Plowright, D.T.S. Hayman, T.J. O’Shea, J.L.N Wood, C.T. Webb, O. Restif. 2014. The effect of seasonal birth pulses on pathogen persistence in a wildlife population. Proceedings of the Royal Society, B: Life Sciences 281:20132962.
O’Shea, T.J., P.M. Cryan, A.A. Cunningham, D.T.S. Hayman, A.D. Luis, A.J. Peel, R.K. Plowright. 2014. Bat flight and emerging zoonotic viruses. Emerging Infectious Diseases 20:741-745.
Luis, A.D., D.T.S. Hayman, T.J. O’Shea, P.M. Cryan, A.T. Gilbert, J.R.C. Pulliam, J.N. Mills, M.E. Timonin, C.K.R. Willis, A.A. Cunningham, A.R. Fooks, C.E. Rupprecht, J.L.N. Wood, C.T. Webb. 2013. A comparison of bats and rodents as reservoirs of zoonotic viruses: Are bats special? Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Life Sciences 280:20122753. (Featured in Research Highlights in Nature 494:150-151.)
Restif, O., D.T.S. Hayman, J.R.C. Pulliam, R.K. Plowright, D.B. George, A.D. Luis, A.A. Cunningham, R.A. Bowen, A.R. Fooks, T.J. O’Shea, J.L.N. Wood, C.T. Webb. 2012. Model-guided fieldwork: practical guidelines for multi-disciplinary research on wildlife ecological and epidemiological dynamics. Ecology Letters 15:1083-1094.
Luis, A.D., R.J. Douglass, P.J. Hudson, J.N. Mills, O.N. Bjørnstad. 2012. Sin Nombre Hantavirus Decreases Survival of Male Deer Mice. Oecologia 169:431-439.
Luis, A.D., R.J. Douglass, J.N. Mills, O.N. Bjørnstad. 2010. The effect of seasonality, density, and climate on the population dynamics of Montana deer mice, important reservoir hosts for Sin Nombre hantavirus. Journal of Animal Ecology 79:462-470. (Featured in a Virtual Issue on ‘Animal Ecology – legacy of Charles S Elton’)
Luis, A.D. and P.J. Hudson. 2006. Hibernation patterns in mammals: a role for bacterial growth? Functional Ecology 20: 471-477.
College of Forestry and Conservation
Area of Expertise
Conservation of Wildlife Populations; Population, Community and Disease Ecology; Theoretical Ecology