Global climate change is projected to alter the distribution, prevalence, and harm caused by infectious diseases. This alarming prediction suggests a pending crisis for nature as well as society. An array of health professionals to climate change scientists to natural historians have been examining changes to the patterns of infection in relation to extreme variation in environmental conditions. Dr. King will synthesize primary infectious disease literature to determine the impact of environmental change on the spread, prevalence, virulence, and potential for evolution of infectious diseases globally. Specifically, she will examine the relationship between the deviation in environmental parameters from average and the magnitude of host harm (virulence) or changes in transmissibility of pathogens to new hosts and geographic areas. Dr. King’s visit is hosted by Drs. Michelle Tseng (Zoology) and Richard Hamelin (Forest and Conservation Sciences) at UBC.
Prof. Richard Hamelin was named the 2020 American Phytopathological Society (APS) Fellow. Prof. Hamelin’s research aims to develop methods, tools, and approaches to improve our ability to identify, detect, monitor, and track pathogens of trees. He was at the forefront of the development of the field of molecular epidemiology of plant pathogens, applying population genetics concepts to answer questions about introduction, colonization patterns, and spread of native and invasive pathogens.
His approach to research has been to assemble large teams to address the health challenges faced by forests. An inspirational role model for young scientists, he has participated in the training and education of the next generation of plant pathologists by teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in forest pathology, forest ecology, biotic disturbances, and sustainable forest management.