Welcome to the Strauss lab!

Welcome to the Strauss lab at UGA. We study the ecological drivers of infectious disease, and reciprocally, the impacts of disease on ecological communities and ecosystems. We are especially interested in roles of parasites and pathogens in the context of global changes including biodiversity loss, climate change, and environmental eutrophication. We work in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, using a combination of observational, experimental, and mathematical approaches. In lakes and ponds, we focus on communities of zooplankton and their parasites, resources, and predators. In grassland ecosystems, we focus on communities of plants and their pathogens, mutualists, and consumers.

Zooplankton & Their Parasites

Zooplankton & Their Parasites

Zooplankton are critical members of aquatic food webs. Ceriodaphnia (small) and Daphnia (large) compete with each other and interfere with transmission of each other's parasites. Photo credit: Meg Duffy

Pond Sampling

Pond Sampling

Sampling plankton communities at VIP pond in Whitehall Forest, UGA. Microsporidian parasites infect high proportions of populations of Daphnia ambigua in the spring. Photo credit: Jay Shelton

Field Experiments

Field Experiments

Sampling the herbaceous community in an experimental herbivore exclusion plot. Exclusion impacts diversity, productivity, and disease. Photo credit: Eric Seabloom

Grasses & Their Pathogens

Grasses & Their Pathogens

Rust fungi infecting the leaves of a grass host (quackgrass; Agropyron repens), altering tissue chemistry and photosynthetic rates. Photo credit: Katie Schroeder