Experience

 
 
 
 
 
March 2019 – Present
East Lansing, Michigan

Research Associate

Boone and Crockett Quantitative Wildlife Center, Fisheries & Wildlife, Michigan State University

Develop new, high-level quantitative tools that help address the challenges of wildlife conservation. Specific focus on population and epidemiological models to study the role of white-tailed deer harvest on the spread of chronic wasting disease.
 
 
 
 
 
June 2017 – March 2019
Moscow, Idaho

Postdoctoral Fellow

Center for Modeling Complex Interactions, University of Idaho

Responsibilities include:

  • Leader, OneHealth Working Group
  • Disease Modeling: Bighorn sheep pneumonia
  • Canine rabies modeling
 
 
 
 
 
May 2014 – June 2017
Columbia, Missouri

Postdoctoral Fellow

University of Missouri

Analysis of wildlife diseases in the state of Missouri. Specific focus on chronic wasting disease in white-tailed deer. Developed a model-based framework to support management of chronic wasting disease in Missouri’s white-tailed deer populations.

Selected Publications

Wildlife disease management is vital but challenging due to complex host population dynamics. We have developed a novel modeling tool that can help managers better understand complex disease dynamics & thereby implement effective control strategies to mitigate the threats posed by wildlife diseases like chronic wasting disease (CWD).
Ecol Solut Evidence, 2020

Epidemiological surveillance for important wildlife diseases often relies on samples obtained from hunter-harvested animals. A problem, however, is that although convenient and cost-effective, hunter-harvest samples are not representative of the population due to heterogeneities in disease distribution and biased sampling. We developed an agent-based modeling framework that simulates deer population in an user-generated landscape. A snapshot of this realistic deer population is then used to simulate disease (CWD) prevalence and distribution, harvest effort and sampling for CWD testing. This framework incorporates real-world heterogeneities in disease distribution, hunter harvest and harvest-based sampling, and therefore can be useful in informing sustainable and efficient wildlife disease surveillance strategies. (DeAngelis D and Zhang B: F1000Prime Recommendation of [Belsare AV et al., Ecol Modell 2020 417:108919]. In F1000Prime, 06 Feb 2020; 10.3410/f.737304849.793570504)
EcoMod, 2018

We investigated infrapopulation level and component population level genetic diversity of Baylisascaris procyonis in raccoons Procyon lotor collected from five counties in Missouri and Arkansas.
Parasitology International, 2018

We developed an agent-based model to simulate dog-fox interactions and explored the dynamics of a multi-host pathogen, canine distemper virus, in this system. The model was parameterized with data from ecological and epidemiological studies. We explore potential management strategies to mitigate the risk of CDV spillover from domestic dogs to wildlife.
Ecological Modelling, 2015

A field manual for wildlife managers providing guidelines for better management of leopard conflict situations as well as capture and post-capture management of leopards.
2007

Recent Publications

Wildlife disease management is vital but challenging due to complex host population dynamics. We have developed a novel modeling tool …

We have developed a modeling framework to support the design of efficient disease surveillance programs for wildlife populations. The …

Epidemiological surveillance for important wildlife diseases often relies on samples obtained from hunter-harvested animals. A problem, …

We investigated infrapopulation level and component population level genetic diversity of Baylisascaris procyonis in raccoons Procyon …

We describe the patterns of infection of the roundworm Baylisascaris procyonis from raccoons Procyon lotor collected in 2013-2014 from …

Macracanthorhynchus ingens is a common acanthocephalan reported from much of eastern North America. We collected and identified M. …

We developed an agent-based model to simulate dog-fox interactions and explored the dynamics of a multi-host pathogen, canine distemper …

We describe the outcomes of a village-level vaccination experiment that was undertaken to determine the applicability and efficacy of …

We documented the prevalence of antibodies to three viral pathogens, canine parvovirus (CPV), canine distemper virus (CDV) and canine …

A field manual for wildlife managers providing guidelines for better management of leopard conflict situations as well as capture and …

Recent & Upcoming Talks

Recent Posts

Projects

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One Health Modeling Working Group

I was the leader of the OneHealth Modeling Working Group at the Center for Modeling Complex Interactions, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho. The main objective of this working group was to develop and use analytical, model-based approaches to better understand and manage complex zoonotic disease systems.

Big horn sheep pneumonia Modeling Project

This project was supported by a Modeling Access Grant, Center for Modeling Complex Interactions, University of Idaho. I collaborated with Ryan Long (University of Idaho) to develop an agent-based model of bighorn sheep population dynamics. This model can be used to further explore pneumonia dynamics in bighorn sheep populations and guide research questions. The goal of this work was to support the Idaho Department of Fish and Game in developing locale-specific disease management strategies for bighorn sheep populations.

Chronic Wasting Disease Modeling Framework

2014-2018: With Josh Millspaugh (University of Montana), Matt Gompper (University of Missouri) and Missouri Department of Conservation. We developed an agent-based modeling framework for assessing sampling effort and efficacy of harvest-based disease surveillance in white-tailed deer populations of Missouri. We also developed a spatially-explicit, agent-based model of chronic wasting disease transmission dynamics. This model is being used to assess the rate of CWD spread in Missouri, as well as to evaluate alternate management strategies to limit the spread of CWD. 2019-current: The CWD Modeling Framework has been adapted to simulate Michigan white-tailed deer populations. The focus is on designing pre-emptive harvest strategies to increase the resilience of regional deer populations to CWD spread.

Raccoon Roundworm Management

With Matt Gompper (University of Missouri). Raccoon roundworm Baylisascaris procyonis poses a public health as well as conservation threat as it can cause clinical infections with high morbidity and mortality in several vertebrate species including humans. The objective of this modeling project is to develop a tool to compare and contrast interventions for effective surveillance and management of raccoon roundworms.

Multihost, multistrain Leptospira Dynamics

With Claudia Munoz-Zanzi (University of Minnesota), Meghan Mason (St. Catherine University), Matt Gompper (University of Missouri). We are using an agent-based approach to simulate transmission dynamics of host-adapted Leptospira strains in a multi-host system. One of the main objectives of this model is to evaluate alternate interventions aimed at reducing human infection risk in small-scale communities like urban slums.

Canine rabies in India

With Abi Vanak (ATREE, India) and Craig Miller (University of Idaho). The objective of this collaborative, OneHealth research project is to use viral genome sequencing, dog demography and epidemiological modeling to better understand the mechanisms of persistence and dispersal of canine rabies, and find focused, efficient startegies for interrupting dog-to-dog transmission of rabies virus in resource-limited settings.

Teaching

My research and consulting experiences in veterinary medicine, conservation and disease ecology have a strong influence on my teaching. One of my main objectives is to convey the significance and excitement of the subject that I teach.

University of Missouri

Year Course
2016, 2014 (Fall) Wildlife Disease Ecology (FW 4810 / 7810)
2016 (Spring) Animal Population Dynamics (FW 4500 / 7500)
2012-2014 General Biology Laboratory (BIO 1020)

Teaching Evaluation 2016

2005-2006: Designed and taught short courses in chemical immobilization of wild animals (Dealing with Wildlife Emergencies). These courses were developed for State Forest Department personnel and field veterinarians in India and funded by Rufford Small Grants, UK.

2003-2004: Trained five emergency response teams for the Maharashtra Forest Department in field immobilization, handling and captive management of wild leopards (Training Maharashtra Forest Department).

Contact

  • 573 808 42 87
  • belsarea
  • Boone & Crockett Quantitative Wildlife Center, Michigan State University, Natural Resources Buildling, 480 Wilson Rd, Room 13, East Lansing, MI 48824 USA
  • Email for appointment