Molecular aspects of host-parasite interactions have largely lead research in infection biology. Such effort, however, has proven to be less useful in understanding interactions such as development of virulence in parasites, tolerance and resistance in hosts and more recently, emergence of new infectious diseases. It has also been realized that there are more to the story of infectious diseases than the simple one to one interaction between a host and its parasite. Recent evidence suggest that emergence of a particular infection may stem from a complex interplay between many parasites and their host communities to say the least. To make the matters worse from a global health perspective, anthropogenic interference and climate change may also play an important role in the emergence and spread of parasites at a larger scale. Given this background, my interest in the subject is broadly encompassed by the following questions.
How does host ecology influence the composition and dynamics of parasites in an ecosystem?
Can host phylogeny be an indicator of parasite sharing within a host community?
How do landscape characteristics shape parasite communities?
What ultimate factors drives co-infection by multiple parasites?
Can habitat modification/fragmentation increase infectious disease risk in humans living close to wilderness?
On a more practical aspect, can parasites be useful bio-indicator to environmental change?
Addressing these questions, along with molecular and geo-spatial approaches into the subject, can provide a holistic perspective to many aspects of the host-parasite interactions and their outcomes influencing both wildlife and human biology.