The spread of COVID-19 is affecting public health around the globe. Strong social distancing and other mitigation efforts have helped lessen spread in many countries, although some countries like the United States continue to experience increases in COVID-19 cases.
To complicate matters, COVID-19 spread varies greatly geographically due to population density and other factors. This raises several questions about how COVID-19 will affect public health and daily life moving forward and the risk other pathogens might pose in the future.
Three UM biologists — disease ecologist Dr. Angela Luis, evolutionary biologist Dr. Douglas Emlen and evolutionary geneticist Dr. Brandon S. Cooper — will join us to discuss the broader biology of COVID-19 spread, with emphasis on the importance of mitigation, testing and contact tracing for combating COVID-19 spread. Dr. Luis’ research explores the importance of host ecology in determining disease dynamics in wildlife, Dr. Emlen’s research focuses on the evolution of extreme structures in several systems and Dr. Brandon S. Cooper’s research focuses on the spread of maternally inherited bacteria through many host species.
After a brief discussion of how to understand the pandemic from their perspectives, the faculty will open up a live discussion for a UM alumni audience.