center for synthesis
and analysis of biodiversity

A centre created and developed by the FRB
Disentangling the Linkages between Biodiversity and Emerging Infectious Diseases


Principal Investigator : Jean-François Guégan, IRD – UMR MIVEGEC, Montpellier, France

Co-PIs: Benjamin Roche (IRD - UMMISCO, Paris) and James N. Mills (Emory University, Atlanta, USA)

Post-Doctor: Gabriel Ernesto García-Peña, National and Autonomous University of México (UNAM), Mexico

10 participants : Felicia Keesing, Bard College, Annandale, NY, USA; Parviez Hosseini, EcoHealth Alliance, NY, USA; James N. Mills, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA; Vanessa Ezenwa, University of Georgia, GA, USA; Simon Blanchet, CNRS-SEEM, Moulis, France; Michel Gauthier-Clerc, Fondation Sansuire, la Tour-du-Valat, France; Gwenaël Vour'ch, INRA, Clermont/Theix, France; Benjamin Roche, IRD, Paris, France; Annapaola Rizzoli, Centro di Ecologie Alpina, Trento, Italy; Gerardo Suzan, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico; Anne-Hélène Prieur-Richard, Diversitas, Paris; Marco Vignuzzi, Institut Pasteur, Paris.



Abstract : 

75% of emerging diseases are zoonotic. Intuitively, the greatest number of zoonotic pathogens should exist in areas with greatest biodiversity; nevertheless, emergence frequently is associated with biodiversity loss, often anthropogenic in origin. Several hypotheses have been proposed, including the dilution effect hypothesis and selection for opportunistic species. Yet, much of the science remains theoretical and data available are spread among unrelated groups of  investigators. The best chance for understanding the relationships between biodiversity and  infectious diseases lies in multi-institutional and multidisciplinary collaboration.  

We propose to bring together ecologists, public health scientists, veterinarians, modellers and parasitologists from four countries, working in different regions of the world. During face-to-face meetings and electronic communications, three major questions will be addressed: (1)which life-history characteristics that may confer to hosts better capacity to be "good vessels", (2) how quantifying the parasites capacity to cross species boundaries; and (3) what is the role of biodiversity in transmission of infectious diseases at different spatial scales. Deliverables include databases and disease modelling, reviews and exploratory articles, actionable public health policy information shared with health-protection agencies and medias; and training of young scientists to this new research.

About the project


BIODIS is co-financed by the FRB, the TOTAL foundation et DIVERSITAS

Fondation TotalDIVERSITAS Logo



Part of the group at the CESAB in July 2015.