At least 30 new infectious diseases have emerged in the past 30 years, the majority of these diseases being zoonotic or vector-borne. The field of One Health developed as a way to connect human, animal, and environmental health research under the premise that they are interconnected and collaboration between the disciplines could provide additional insight into emerging infectious diseases. Under this framework, with an interdisciplinary training background, I use a diverse set of tools and techniques (fieldwork, insect and animal trapping, epidemiology, and genome sequencing) to understand the drivers behind emerging viruses and how these viruses spread.
Selective pressures including climate, resource availability, proximity to human populations, and availability of susceptible hosts all contribute to how a virus evolves. Once a virus evolves the capability to spread among a human population additional factors come into play such as access to healthcare, structural and political barriers, and preparedness influence how and in what populations emerging viruses spread. In order to put together big-picture answers on how best to prepare for future virus outbreaks, research must span multiple disciplines and subject areas. The goal of my research is to answer big-picture questions about virus evolution and spread in hopes of informing pandemic preparedness policies.