Recent News about Zoonotic Disease

I just came across a couple articles relevant to yesterday’s topics:

Are Human Viruses Killing The Last Remaining Gorillas?

Despite the obviously depressing title, the article itself focuses on some of the positive conservation strategies to protect the gorillas. One way is by focusing on public health initiatives for local communities–preventing disease from spreading in the humans prevents it from reaching the gorillas. It also addresses the positive and negative aspects of gorilla eco-tourism. On one hand, you do have increased risks of disease transmission. On the other hand, it brings money and employment opportunities to the local communities.

Ebola: Outbreaks Cause Crisis for Great Apes and Humans

While a bit more depressing, this article addresses a similar point–that human and great ape health are intertwined.

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About Dr. Michelle A. Rodrigues

I am a primatologist/biological anthropologist who studies comparative social behavior and endocrinology. My dissertation research focused on stress and friendship in female spider monkeys. Most of my graduate research was conducted at El Zota Biological Field Station, with a little help from the spider monkeys at Brookfield Zoo, IL. I have also studied howler monkeys, rhesus monkeys, bonobos, and chimpanzees, as well as participated in studies on gorillas, pachyderms, and big cats. Currently, I am a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Illinois, where I am examining how female friendship and social support mediate stressors experienced by teenager girls and female scientists. I've taught courses in introductory biological anthropology, world prehistory, and co-instructed a field course in primate behavior and conservation at El Zota. I love teaching about primates and evolution!
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