CPEP Seminar – Pollutants, Parasites, and People: When Does Preserving Biodiversity Protect Communities from Disease?

Speaker: Jessica Hua, Associate Professor of Forest and Wildlife Ecology

Research in the Hua lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to address two main goals:

  • To understand ecological interactions, evolutionary processes, and eco-evo feedbacks in human modified environments
  • To evaluate the role of outreach and citizen science in shaping community perception and understanding of science

Towards these goals, this talk will address the broad question: “When does preserving biodiversity protect communities from disease?” Communities with higher biodiversity are
expected to be less vulnerable to diseases compared to communities with lower biodiversity. However, increasing evidence indicates that this is not always the case. To address why, this talk will focus on:

  • How common pollutants (e.g., road salt and pesticides) and human land use influence whether biodiversity protects or exacerbates disease
  • How art outreach and citizen science initiatives can be used to understand human contributions to disease dynamics as well as improve public learning and perceptions of science

This seminar can also be viewed via our live stream.

Hosted by the Climate, People and the Environment Program (CPEP).


Nov 14 2023


1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


823 Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences
1225 W. Dayton St.


Alessandra Rella
(608) 265-0521