You are here

Disease Ecology

Before Zika and Chikungunya became household words, Smithsonian scientists were studying these and other viral diseases. The presence of U.S. scientists in Panama to control malaria and yellow fever—the primary impediment to the construction of the Panama Canal—resulted in the establishment of our first research station on Barro Colorado Island in 1923. Now we track disease vectors such as mosquitoes, rodents and bats to better understand how landscape disturbance and climate change affect the spread of disease. We also ask how pathogens and parasites shape tropical biodiversity and how tropical ecosystems respond to disease outbreaks.

Back to Top