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Jesse Brunner

Jesse Brunner

Field of Study: Disease ecology
Title: Associate Professor
Degrees: Ph.D., Biology, Arizona State University
Homepage: Homepage/Lab Web Site Link
Google Scholar:  Google Scholar
Office: 283 Eastlick
Phone: 509 335 3702
Fax: nan
Mailing Address: School of Biological Sciences
Washington State University
PO Box 644236
Pullman,WA 99164-4236


My lab group studies the ecology of infectious disease. From disease in conservation and human health to the evolution of parasite host range and virulence, we focus on questions with a theoretical basis and an applied focus. We tend to focus on interactions within or between individual hosts and how they scale up to population-level outcomes. I am particularly interested in the relative importance of factors that influence disease transmission such as host community composition, environmental conditions, and heterogeneity in susceptibility. Most of our research focuses on the transmission dynamics and ecology of amphibian pathogens, especially ranaviruses, but we continue to work to understand the ecology of ticks and tick-borne disease in small mammal communities and as a function of climatic conditions.

Representative Publications:

  • Hall, E. M., C. S. Goldberg, J. L. Brunner, and E. J. Crespi. 2018. Seasonal dynamics and potential drivers of ranavirus epidemics in wood frog populations. Oecologia
  • Brunner, J. L., and C. M. Yarber. 2018. Evaluating the Importance of Environmental Persistence for Ranavirus Transmission and Epidemiology. Pages 129-148 in Malmstrom, C., editors. Environmental Virology and Virus Ecology. Elsevier.
  • Brunner, J. L., L. Beaty, A. Guitard, and D. Russel. 2017. Heterogeneities in the infection process drive ranavirus transmission. Ecology 98:576-582.
  • Price, S. J., E. Ariel, A. Maclaine, G. M. Rosa, M. J. Gray, J. L. Brunner, and T. W. J. Garner. 2017. From fish to frogs and beyond: Impact and host range of emergent ranaviruses. Virology 511:272-279.
  • Brunner, J. L., A. Storfer, M. J. Gray, and J. T. Hoverman. 2015. Ranavirus ecology and evolution: from epidemiology to extinction. Pages 71-104 in Gray, M. J., and V. G. Chinchar, editors. Ranaviruses: Lethal pathogens of ecothermic vertebrates. Springer International Publishing, Cham, Switzerland.
  • Jones, C. R., J. L. Brunner, G. A. Scoles, and J. P. Owen. 2015. Factors affecting larval tick feeding success: host, density and time. Parasites and Vectors 8:340.
  • Ostfeld, R. S., and J. L. Brunner. 2015. Climate change and Ixodes tick-borne diseases of humans. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 370:20140051.
  • Johnson, A. F., and J. L. Brunner. 2014. Persistence of an amphibian ranavirus in aquatic communities. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 111:129-138.
  • Brunner, J. L., S. Duerr, F. Keesing, M. Killilea, H. Vuong, and R. S. Ostfeld. 2013. An experimental test of competition among mice, chipmunks, and squirrels in deciduous forest fragments. PLoS ONE 8:e66798.
  • Brunner, J. L., and R. S. Ostfeld. 2008. Multiple causes of variable tick burdens on small-mammal hosts. Ecology 89:2259-2272.
  • Brunner, J. L., K. LoGiudice, and R. S. Ostfeld. 2008. Estimating reservoir competence of Borrelia burgdorferi hosts: Prevalence and infectivity, sensitivity and specificity. Journal of Medical Entomology 45:139-147.