The epidemiology of wildlife disease involves a complex interplay among the disease agent, the environment, and the ecology of host species. In a broad sense, understanding key components of the dynamics within and interactions among these three components are crucial to an improved understanding of wildlife disease ecology. Dr. Samuel’s research program combines a variety of laboratory analyses, field investigations, and epidemiology modeling tools to address a broad range of applied research on the ecology of wildlife disease. Recent and current projects concentrate on increased understanding the complexity of disease ecology affecting wildlife species and the development of effective management strategies. Research topics typically involve questions related to disease transmission, disease reservoirs, host ecology, impacts of disease of wildlife populations, and epidemiological modeling.


Current Lab Members

Michael D. Samuel, PhD
(Lab Leader)


Joy Rose, PhD


Ian H. Plummer
(M.S. program)


Rocio Jara, DVM
(M.S. program)








Selected Recent Publications

Wilson et al. 2013.  High seroprevalence of antibodies to avian influenza viruses among wild waterfowl in Alaska: implications for surveillance.  PLos ONE

Magle et al. 2013.  Magle et al 2013Evaluating Spatial Overlap and Relatedness of White-tailed Deer in a Chronic Wasting Disease Management Zone   PLoS ONE

Hénaux et al.  2013.  Estimating transmission of avian influenza in wild birds from incomplete epizootic data: implications for surveillance and disease spread.  Journal of Applied Ecology.

 Storm et al.  2013.  Deer density and disease prevalence influence transmission of chronic wasting disease in white-tailed deer.  Ecosphere.

 Blanchong et al 2012Effect of chronic wasting disease on reproduction and fawn harvest vulnerability in Wisconsin white-tailed deer. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 

 Hénaux et al.  2012.  Presence of Avian Influenza Viruses in Waterfowl and Wetlands during Summer 2010 in California: Are Resident Birds a Potential Reservoir?  PLoS ONE.

 Hobbelen et al.  2013.  Modeling future conservation of Hawaiian honeycreepers by mosquito management and translocation of disease-tolerant Amakihi.  PLoS ONE.

Hobbelen et al.  2012.  Modeling the impacts of global warming on predation and biotic resistance: mosquitoes, damselflies, and avian malaria in Hawaii.  Theoretical Ecology. 

Johnson et al.  2012.  Highly efficient amplification of chronic wasting disease agent by protein misfolding cyclic amplification with beads (PMCAb).  PLoS ONE.

 LaPointe et al.  2012.  Ecology and conservation biology of avian malaria.  Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

 Matsumoto et al.  2012. Association mapping of genetic risk factors for chronic wasting disease in wild deer. Evolutionary Applications. 

Robinson et al.  2012.  The walk is never random: landscape genetics detect subtle effects of landscape barriers to white-tailed deer gene flow. Molecular Ecology.

Robinson et al.  2012.  The role of PRNP genetics in chronic wasting disease of wild cervids.  PRION.

Robinson et al.  2012.  Emerging prion disease drives host selection in a wildlife population. Ecological Applications.