Understanding wildlife diseases and the impact on their populations


Eureka College alum presenting at annual William Thomas Jackson Lecture.

Understanding wildlife disease, specifically in birds and amphibians, and the animal’s responses to the disease at the individual and population level will be explored at the 62nd annual William Thomas Jackson Lecture in Science. The lecture is March 31 at 7:30 p.m. in Becker Auditorium located inside the Cerf Center at Eureka College. It is free and open to the public.

Jackson Day Lecture 2016

The presentation titled, “The arms race between wildlife and pathogens” will be given by Dr. Travis Wilcoxen, associate professor of biology at Millikin University in Decatur, Ill. and a Eureka College alumnus.

The presentation will explore the impact of various diseases on wildlife populations, specifically the physiological mechanisms that underlie resistance and tolerance to the diseases in the host species.

“Understanding wildlife disease dynamics and host immunity is an important area of ecological research,” said Wilcoxen. “This presentation will include an examination of historically important and emerging wildlife diseases within the context of animal responses to these diseases.”

Wilcoxen is also the founding secretary for the Division of Ecoimmunology and Disease Ecology for the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology and an executive board member of the Illinois Raptor Center.

The Jackson Lecture was established to honor the late William Thomas Jackson, an alumnus of Eureka College who taught chemistry at the college for 36 years.