Animal migration and infection dynamics: Recent advances and future frontiers

Richard J. Hall, Sonia Altizer, Stephanie J. Peacock, Allison K. Shaw

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


Long-distance animal migrations are spectacular, widespread, and ecologically important. Seasonal movements that allow animals to track favorable conditions over space and time can be energetically demanding and require behavioral and physiological changes over the annual cycle. Resulting changes in animal aggregation, condition, immunity, and location can often drive changes in exposure and susceptibility to parasite infection. Infection in turn can influence individual hosts’ movement behavior, and potentially impose selection pressure on the propensity and extent of movement. This chapter surveys the ecology and evolution of host-parasite interactions in migratory animals, and proposes a novel framework for understanding observed host-parasite dynamics in the context of feedbacks between migration and parasite infection at the individual host and population levels. We apply this framework to predict the consequences of global climate and habitat disruptions for host-pathogen dynamics, with a particular view towards migratory species conservation and public health. Finally, we identify three research frontiers-migration-parasitism feedbacks, the role of individual variation, and responses to global change-that represent promising future directions for advancing the integrated study of migration and parasitism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAnimal Behavior and Parasitism
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780192895561
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Oxford University Press.


  • feedback
  • global change
  • infection
  • migration
  • movement
  • parasite


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