In Malawi 2009, the Field Museum of Natural History executed the pilot project of what became known as the Emerging Pathogens Project. Our goal was to sample every individual animal (birds and small mammals) as comprehensively as possible, to provide baseline data on parasites (both ecto and endo), pathogens, and host biodiversity in a region fraught with anthropogenic disturbance. These data have been foundational for many future studies, and the methods developed during this expedition are now embodied in most Afrotropical Field Museum expeditions. We continue to study birds and small mammals not simply as individual beings, but as ecosystems in and of themselves.
Vwaza Wildlife Reserve 1088-1170m
Nyika National Park 1578-2287m
Lutz, H. L., Tkach, V. T., Weckstein, J. D. 2016. Methods for Specimen-based Studies of Avian Symbionts, In M. Webster (ed.) The Role of Collections in Ornithology: The Extended Specimen.Studies in Avian Biology. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. Pre-order Book Lutz, H. L., Patterson, B. D., Kerbis, J. C., Webala, P. W., Stanley, W. T., Gnoske, T. P., Hackett, S. J., Stanhope, M. J. 2016. Diverse sampling of East African haemosporidians reveals chiropteran origin of malaria parasites in primates and rodents. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 99, 7-15. PubMed, PDF
Lutz, HL, Hochachka, WM, Engel, JI, Bell, JA, Tkach, VV, Bates, JM, Hackett, SJ, Weckstein, JD. 2015. Parasite prevalence corresponds to host life history in a diverse assemblage of Afrotropical birds and haemosporidian parasites. PLoS ONE doi:10.1371/journal/pone.012154. PubMed, PDF