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Tropical Plant

COURTNEY SCHREINER

About me

           I'm a first-gen college student. I attended the University of Idaho for both my bachelors and Master's degrees. Working with Dr. Scott Nuismer is where I discovered my passion for mathematical modeling and disease ecology. I'm interested in drivers of disease dynamics, controlling the spread of infectious diseases, and what ecological and evolutionary role behavior plays in the spread of infectious disease. I am now a PhD student in ecology and evolutionary biology at The University of Tennessee Knoxville working with Dr. Nina Fefferman.

RESEARCH

My research interests and experiences lies at the interface between math and biology. I'm largely interested in the ecology of infectious disease, and am excited by questions aiming to prevent, control, and understand the spread of infectious diseases both in wildlife an human populations. I enjoy using mathematical models to explore the drivers of disease dynamics, how to control the spread of infectious diseases, and what ecological and evolutionary role behavior plays in the spread of infectious disease.

Vaccinating wildlife populations with baits

Vaccinating wildlife populations is an effective tool to control the spread of infectious diseases in wildlife. Vaccinating wildlife populations has the potentially to additionally reduce the risk of spillover by reducing pathogen prevalence in wildlife populations. However what remains unclear is whether or not the time of year that we introduce a vaccine to a population affects the overall effectiveness of a vaccination campaign. This could be especially important in wildlife that demonstrate short defined breeding seasons that lead to large influxes of susceptible individuals in the population.

Read more about this work here: https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.13539

Self-disseminating vaccines

Most wildlife vaccination is done via a bait-style vaccination, however, recent advancements in vaccine technology have given rise to self-disseminating vaccines. These are vaccines capable of spreading to additional individuals beyond the initially vaccinated individuals. There are two main types of of self-disseminating vaccines, transmissible and transferable. Transmissible vaccines can spread similar to how a pathogen can. Transferable vaccines rely on the grooming behaviors of animals and spread via a vaccine-laced gel that is put on the back of an animal where it is groomed off and ingested by other individuals in the population. These types of vaccine raise the question, Does timing still matter for these types of vaccines? When is the best time to introduce these vaccines in populations with distinct breeding seasons? This work will be available on BioRxiv soon.

CONTACT ME

University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA

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