Here’s a little post for all you PhD students nearing your qualifying/comprehensive/preliminary exams. If I were asked to study disease ecology for such an exam, this is what I would know:
Who are the most influential modern day disease ecologists (or parasite ecologists)? You might start with my list of the most prolific parasite ecologists in the 21st century.
What is the disease triangle?
What were Koch’s Postulates?
Do parasites/pathogens regulate host populations? Somehow, I think I I’ve only blogged about this once…
What are the differences between microparasites and macroparasites? Here.
What are the differences between predators, parasites, and parasitoids? Here.
What are the hypotheses regarding the evolution of virulence? I haven’t blogged about that much, but there’s a bit here.
What are SIR models? SI models? SIS models? SEIR models? Vector transmission models?
What is R0? What happens when R0 > 1 and when R0 < 1? How can you reduce R0? What is the critical proportion of susceptible individuals that needs to be vaccinated so that R0 < 1? Somehow, I haven’t covered this in any detail. But I have a cute cow cartoon about herd immunity.
Are there invasion thresholds is disease systems? Link to PDF.
Is culling a viable strategy for disease management? See previous two questions.
What are the main types of pathogen transmission? E.g., direct vs. indirect, sexually transmitted, vectored, trophically transmitted, etc.
Do hosts and parasites coevolve? Is there evidence of parasite-mediated selection?
What is parasite-mediated competition? Does it happen in real systems?
Are there general laws in parasite ecology? PDF link.
How are resistance and tolerance different? Here.
Did I miss anything? Add in the comments or shoot me an email!