SICB Annual Meeting 2019
January 3-7, 2019
Tampa, FL

January 4 - Symposium S2: The scale of sickness: how immune variation across space and species affects infectious disease dynamics

Biology, relative to physics and much of chemistry, lacks strict organizing principles. Whereas physicists can predict with exquisite accuracy how far a ball will fly when thrown, biologists lack the (mathematical and conceptual) framework to make precise predictions. Conversely, biologists have become extremely adept at collecting massive and often complex datasets, even from a variety of non-model organisms living in diverse habitats. Our goal for this symposium is to lay a foundation for describing the general principles that explain the relationships between variation in immune defenses and the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases. This goal is derived from the perplexing observation that hosts and parasites vary so much their propensities to resist and infect each other, respectively. What are the principles that determine whether a host is infected by one or many parasites, whether a single or many hosts transmits parasites to other susceptibles, and whether a parasite kills or keeps its host alive upon infection? These questions are fundamental, yet we have only recently taken the multidisciplinary and multi-scale approach necessary to develop principles for host-parasite interactions, as some recent work shows.

In this symposium, we hope to challenge participants and attendees to conceive scientific approaches that connect individual-, landscape-, or species-level variation in immune defense to their eco-evolutionary and epidemiological outcomes.

Sponsors: DEDE, DCE, DAB, DEE
NSF Macroecology of Infectious Disease Research Coordination Network (RCN)


  • Daniel Becker
  • Laura Schoenle
  • Cynthia Downs
  • Lynn Martin


S2-1 Friday, Jan. 4, 07:45 BECKER, DJ*; SCHOENLE, LA; DOWNS, CJ; MARTIN, LB: The scale of sickness: how immune variation across space and species affects infectious disease dynamics

S2-2 Friday, Jan. 4, 08:00 FIELD, KA*; LILLEY, TM; OGATA, G; ROGERS, EJ; PROKKOLA, JM; MOORE, MS; REEDER, DM: The Challenges of Transcriptome-wide Comparisons Across Species and Genera

S2-3 Friday, Jan. 4, 08:30 EZENWA, Vanessa O*; CYR, Jennifer L; GAWRILUK, Tom R; KIMANI, John M; KIAMA, Stephen G; SEIFERT, Ashley W: Trade-offs between immunity and life-history shape cryptic immunological variation in regeneration-competent rodents

S2-4 Friday, Jan. 4, 09:00 MERRILL, L*; BARGER, AM; BENSON, TJ: Landscape dynamics and immune function across a community of shrubland birds

S2-5 Friday, Jan. 4, 09:30 BECKER, DJ*; ARGIBAY, HG; BOTTO, G; ESCALERA-ZAMUDIO, M; GREENWOOD, AD; ROJAS-ANAYA, E; LAVERGNE, A; PLOWRIGHT, RK; CZIRJáK, GÁ; PLOWRIGHT, RK; ALTIZER, S; STREICKER, DG: Quantifying and interpreting spatial autocorrelation in leukocyte profiles in a widespread Neotropical bat species

S2-6 Friday, Jan. 4, 10:30 RYNKIEWICZ, EC*; CLERC, M; BABAYAN, S; PEDERSEN, AB: Variation in Pro-Inflammatory Immune Responses Among- and Within-Individual Wild Wood Mice Impacts Parasite Infection Dynamics

S2-7 Friday, Jan. 4, 11:00 BUDISCHAK, Sarah A.*; GRAHAM, Andrea L. ; CRESSLER, Clayton E. : Fueling Defense; Effects of Resources on the Evolution of Tolerance to Macroparasite Infection

S2-8 Friday, Jan. 4, 11:30 HALL, RJ: Modeling the Effects of Anthropogenic Stressors on Immune Defense and Infection Dynamics in Heterogeneous Host Populations

S2-9 Friday, Jan. 4, 13:30 CIVITELLO, DJ*; MALISHEV, M: Scaling bioenergetic theory to predict the population dynamics of human schistosomes and intermediate snail hosts

S2-10 Friday, Jan. 4, 14:00 ADELMAN, JS: Linking immunological mechanisms and transmission consequences of tolerance in a songbird host

S2-11 Friday, Jan. 4, 14:30 PEPIN, Kim, M.*; WEBB, Colleen, T.; WILBER, Mark, Q.: Scaling individual-level immunology to the population level provides risk assessment from convenience samples

S2-12 Friday, Jan. 4, 15:00 STEWART MERRILL, TE*; HALL, SR; RAPTI, Z; CáCERES, CE: Variable Immunity and its Consequences for Disease

S2-13 Friday, Jan. 4, 15:30 : Discussion