The complexity of infectious disease dynamics in the environment calls for novel approaches. Major research efforts in the IDEAS program focus on three topical areas critical to unraveling the complexity of host-pathogen interactions in nature:


  • co-infection and pathogen interactions
  • environmental change and disease dynamics
  • tipping points and early warning signals


These research themes draw on existing strengths at UGA where perspectives on empirical systems ranging from single cells to whole ecosystems couple with computational strengths in statistics and dynamical modeling to provide the key ingredients we believe will spur innovation. Crucially, IDEAS trainees are at the core of this innovation. Our training gives students a unique cross-scale conceptual background, computational skills, and global perspective that push the boundaries of current research already being done on campus and beyond. The interdisciplinary research culture at UGA lends itself to an atmosphere where students are enabled to think outside the box and work across disciplinary lines. Amidst this backdrop, the IDEAS program provides a new framework for students and faculty mentors to identify fundamental questions that lie at the interface of different scales of biological organization and develop new analytical tools for addressing these questions. This combination of new ideas and novel computational tools drive transformative research in our three focal areas and beyond.

From Byte to Benchtop to Biosphere