Research focus: The influences of host community, urbanization and water quality on avian malaria ecology in South African passerines
PhD student Sharon Okanga is examining the prevalence of avian malaria and the factors driving infection patterns in passerines in relation to land cover change, aridity and host community composition. Birds are one of the more predominant hosts for zoonoses, their high mobility enabling them to transfer diseases over a large range and between a wide diversity of hosts. It is hoped that insights into avian disease ecology and the mechanisms driving transmission will contribute to ongoing educational and conservation efforts within South Africa and the rest of the African continent. For more about Sharon's research, visit her homepage or read her blog on the Wild Card website.
This research project is co-supervised by Graeme Cumming and Phil Hockey and funded through the Centre of Excellence and a grant from the International Foundation of Science (IFS) for 2011.
For more related research see the Spatial Parasitology & Epidemiology page.