Montana State University

Wildlife biologist to lecture Nov. 2 on infectious diseases

October 14, 2009 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN -- A free public lecture about the impacts of human demographics, travel and climate on the emergence, persistence and virulence of infectious diseases will be given Monday, Nov. 2, at Montana State University.

Paul Cross, a wildlife research biologist with the USGS' Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center, will speak on "Disease Ecology and Zoonoses in a Hot, Flat and Crowded World" at 5 p.m. in the Procrastinator Theater in the Strand Union Building. A reception will follow in the Leigh Lounge.

Cross' research combines fieldwork and computer modeling to study the effects of host behavior and population structure on disease dynamics, primarily in wildlife species. As a graduate student at the University of California at Berkeley, he supervised a large field project on bovine tuberculosis in African buffalo. Currently his lab works on the ecology of brucellosis in the elk and bison of the Greater Yellowstone area and chronic wasting disease in deer. Cross also works with collaborators at Pennsylvania State University to discover new pathogens in elk and mule deer.

Cross' lecture is presented by the Kopriva Science Seminar Series, which is funded through an endowment created by Phil Kopriva, a 1957 microbiology graduate from MSU. Kopriva, who died in 2002, also created an endowment to fund the Kopriva Graduate Fellowship Program which provides support and opportunities for graduate students in the College of Letters and Science, particularly in the biomedical sciences. The series will feature four seminars annually, with talks given by MSU graduate students, faculty members and guest speakers. For more information about this and other Kopriva lectures, visit

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or