The purpose of the Disease Ecology subject track in Ecosphere is to publish articles about the epidemiology, evolution, and ecology of host-pathogen and host-parasite interactions and disease. Outbreaks of infectious diseases are frequently caused by changes to the ecology of the host, the pathogen, or the environment. Therefore, understanding the incidence, prevalence, or timing of disease requires understanding the ecology of the interaction.

Parasitic organisms are an important component of ecosystems, and they can influence the abundance and dynamics of wild populations, drive evolutionary dynamics, and in some cases lead to host extinction. Likewise, many human diseases are zoonotic, meaning that they are transmitted to humans from other animal species and thus, emergence and prevalence is strongly affected by human interactions with the natural world.

Disease ecology is highly interdisciplinary, and researchers in this field frequently draw on tools from genetics, molecular biology, genomics, immunology, epidemiology, and spatial modeling.

Ecosphere welcomes submissions of articles in all these subject areas. Contact Dr. Shannon LaDeau, Associate Editor-in-Chief, with your questions or for further information.