Gideon Wasserberg



Postdoctoral Research Associate (former)
Current Contact




Research Interests
Community Ecology:  
Mechanisms of species coexistence and community organization
Disease Ecology:
Ecology of cutaneous leishmaniasis:  I field-studied the environmental, demographic, and spatial aspects of the human-sandfly- reservoir host relations of the cutaneous leishmaniasis system in Israel. Also, I developed a spatially-explicit individual-based-model to study the effect of the spatial structure of the host population on disease dynamics and persistence.

Modeling of chronic wasting disease in white-tailed deer. I developed a 3-dimensional non-spatial population matrix model in order to study the effect of CWD transmission rate on disease dynamics, deer population stability, the impact of CWD on deer harvest, and the efficacy of harvest for controlling CWD. At the next stages I will add the spatial and genetic dimensions to address questions regarding their role in disease dynamics, distribution and control. (link)
B.Sc. (1993): Dept. of Life Sciences, Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel. Graduated with distinction
M.Sc. (1996): Dept. of Life Sciences Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel. Graduated with distinction.
Ph.D. (2002): Dept. of Life Sciences, Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel. Graduated with distinction.
2002 – 2003: Post-doctorate (Minerva fellow), the Dept. of Ecological Modeling, UFZ-Centre for Environmental Research. Project goal: Training in disease modeling.
Awards and Honors
– The Minerva fellowship for post-doctoral studies (1 year). June 2002.
– EC-Marie Curie Fellowship (2001/2002) for Ph.D. students. September 2001.
– Kazir travel grant ($700), from the Weizman Institute for Science. August 2001.
Research Grants
1. 1997. The Mitrani Center for Desert Ecology. Graduate student research fund. The Ecoepidemiology of the host species of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in the Negev and The Arava. $1000.
2. 1997. Israeli Ministry of Science. On rodents and regional development: The effect of regional development in the Arava and the Negev desert on the vector-host relations of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis. Collaboration with Z. Abramsky, B.P., and A. Warburg. $60,000 ($20,000 for 3 years).
G. Wasserberg, Z Abramsky, G Anders, M El Fari, G Schoenian, L Schnur, B P Kotler, I Kabalo and A Warburg. 2002. The ecology of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Nizzana,  
         Israel: infection patterns in the reservoir host and epidemiological implications. The International Journal for Parasitology. 32: 133-143.
G. Wasserberg, Z. Abramsky, B.P. Kotler, I. Yarom, A.Warburg. 2003. Anthropogenic disturbance enhance occurrence of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Israel deserts: patterns
         and mechanisms. Ecological applications 13: 868 – 881.
G. Wasserberg, I. Yarom, A. Warburg. 2003. Seasonal abundance patterns of Phlebotomus papatasi (Diptera: Psychodidae) in two climatically distinct foci of cutaneous
         leishmaniasis in Israeli deserts. Medical and Veterinary Entomology 17: 452-456.
V. Kravchenko, G. Wasserberg, and A. Warburg. 2004. Bionomics of phlebotomine sandflies in the Galilee focus of cutaneous leishmaniasis.  Medical and Veterinary
         Entomology, 18, 418-428.
B.P. Kotler, C. R. Dickman, G. Wasserberg, and O. Ovadia 2005. The use of time and space by male and female gerbils exploiting a pulsed resource. Oikos, 109,  594-602.
G. Wasserberg, B.P. Kotler, N. Valdivia, Z. Abramsky. 2005. The role of vegetation characteristics and foraging substrate in organizing a centrifugal gerbil community. Journal
         of Mammalogy, 86 (5).
G. Wasserberg, B.P. Kotler, Z. Abramsky. 2006. The role of site, habitat, competition, and resource dynamics in determining the nightly activity patterns of psammophilic
         gerbils in a centrifugally organized community. Oikos 112:573-579.

CWD related contributed papers
Osnas, E.E., Wasserberg, G., Blanchong, J., Samuel, M.D. Spatial & demographic patterns of CWD prevalence in the south-central Wisconsin Disease Eradication Zone (DEZ), Second International Chronic Wasting Disease Symposium, Madison, WI, 2005.
Wasserberg, G., Samuel, M.D., Langenberg, J.A., Verdon, Matt, Keane, D. Modeling CWD: the effect of CWD transmission rates and harvest on deer population dynamics. The Wildlife Society 12th Annual Conference, Madison, Wisconsin, September 2005.

Recent invited talks
– SESMOCUL – a spatially explicit simulation model of cutaneous leishmaniasis. The National Wildlife Health Center – USGS, Madison, WI. January 2004.
– Leishmaniasis as a globally emerging disease – patterns and possible causes. The Department of Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin. Lecture in “Emerging wildlife
  diseases” course. Wildlife ecology department UW-Madison, May 2004.
– Spatial, temporal, and demographic patterns of CWD transmission. Inter-agency Science and Health Planning Team. March 2005.
– Modeling CWD: the effect of CWD transmission rates and harvest on deer population dynamics. Inter-agency Science and Health Planning Team. October 2005.