James Holland Jones

Environmental Change and Emerging Infectious Disease

With a seed grant from the Woods Institute for the Environment’s Environmental Venture Projects Fund, we have started a pilot project investigating the consequences for human health of land-use change (especially related to oil palm plantation development) in Indonesia. We are focusing in particular on vector-borne disease transmission, especially malaria and dengue fever. This work contributes to a larger project on land-cover/land-use change and forest people’s livelihoods directed by my colleague Lisa Curran.

One of the vector-borne diseases on which we are working is plague, the notorious disease of The Black Death fame, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Plague is endemic in parts of Indonesia but it is also endemic in the western United States. With my post-doc, Dan Salkeld, I have done some work on the ecology of plague. We are particularly interested in questions relating to how anthropogenic environmental change affects plague ecology and how a disease like plague that kills most of its hosts (prairie dogs) during an enzootic can persist through time and across space.

The human ecology of emerging infectious disease is a major theme of my Teaching as well.

Representative Papers

Salkeld, D.J., Padgett, K.A., J.H. Jones. (2013) A meta-analysis suggesting that the relationship between biodiversity and risk of zoonotic pathogen transmission is idiosyncratic. Ecology Letters. 16(5): 679-686. (doi:10.1111/ele.12101)

Janes, C., K. Corbett, J.H. Jones, J. Trostle. (2012) The role of social sciences in predicting and responding to emerging zoonotic diseases. The Lancet. 380(9857): 1884-1886. (doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61725-5)

Salkeld, D.J. M. Salathé, P. Stapp, J.H. Jones. Plague outbreaks in prairie dog populations explained by percolation thresholds of alternate host abundance, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 107(32): 14247-14250. (doi:10.1073/pnas.1002826107).

Salkeld, D.J., P. Stapp, J.H. Jones. (2009) The climate-disease amplification hypothesis: Relationships between vector-abundance, host density, and weather in grasshopper mice. Working Paper.

Jones, J.H. and D. Salkeld (2009) Wild bird culls are inefficient for control of avian influenza, Working Paper.