RESEARCH

Research Keywords at a Glance

  • Behavioral ecology

  • Parasite/disease ecology and ecological immunology

  • Parasite community structure and coinfection

  • Fitness costs and health impacts of parasitism in natural populations

  • Wildlife monitoring, health and conservation

  • invasion biology

  • One health; ecohealth; coupled human and natural systems

  • Biocomplexity - fractal structure in behavior, complexity loss in stress and disease

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Host-Parasite Ecology and Systems Dynamics in Transitioning Ecosystems

Here, we study how anthropogenic pressures might induce changes in host-parasite relationships by considering the dynamics of ecological communities in situ. A current model system for this work is in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, where we investigate host and parasite assemblages in relation to varying levels of human influence, e.g. for oil palm development. This work is supported by a grant-in-aid from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) #2 0 H 0 3 3 3 3 (formerly #16H06181 ).

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Here, we explore the various links between animal behavior and parasitism, including avoidance strategies, avenues for social immunity and patterns and mechanisms of parasite transmission in host social networks. This work involves naturalistic observations of behavior as well as experimentation, both in the field and in the laboratory.

Parasites & Host Behavior, with Special Emphasis on Social Systems Evolution
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Invasion biology involving alien raccoon dogs on Yakushima island, Southern Japan

Although it has been known for some time that raccoon dogs (locally, tanuki, scientifically, Nyctereutes procyonoides) have invaded Yakushima island, the site of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, little is known about the extent of the invasion or the associated ecological impacts. We aim to study the population of invasive tanuki across the island and understand their linkages across the ecological community, including their role in competition, herbivory, predator-prey dynamics and infectious disease.

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Behavior analysis of Indicator species for global change and animal health, welfare & conservation

Here, we work on animal-derived location and behavior tracking data to make inferences about animal and environmental functioning. See a recent poster about this work, presented at the 2019 International Conference on Conservation Biology in Kuala Lumpur, here --------------------------------------------------------------------------->

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Leveraging complexity for zoo animal welfare

Zooentropy is a project investigating factors that govern how animals behave through time, and how we can leverage complexity as a concept to monitor animal health and welfare, and assess the quality of our interventions.

Zooentropy is supported by a grant from the SPIRITS program at Kyoto University – Supporting Program for Interaction-based Team Studies – awarded to Principal Investigator Andrew MacIntosh.