Daniel R Brooks is Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (Academy of Science) and Fellow of the Linnaean Society of London. He has been awarded honorary doctorates from Stockholm University and the University of Nebraska and has been a Senior Visiting Fellow of the Collegium Budapest and Stellenbosch Institute of Advanced Study in addition to iASK. He is an evolutionary biologist whose work ranges from field studies of the evolution of host-pathogen systems in tropical wildlands to foundational studies of evolutionary theory. His current focus is integrating evolutionary principles into understanding emerging disease and using those insights to develop proactive measures for coping with the emerging disease crisis. He is the author of more than 350 scientific publications, including half a dozen books. His forthcoming book is A Perfect Storm: Climate Change, Biodiversity and Emerging Disease, to be published in early 2019 by the University of Chicago Press.
Climate Change and Emerging Infectious Disease: An Evolutionary and Practical Perspective
The emerging infectious diseases (EID) crisis costs humanity more than a trillion dollars annually and is mostly due to high probability/low impact pathogens. The Stockholm Paradigm explains how the intersection of ecological specialization, phylogenetic conservatism, and climate change lead to massive increases in EIDs. More such pathogens will emerge in the near future, threatening to create unsustainable socio-economic stress on existing human, crop, and livestock and other animal health care systems. The DAMA (Document – Assess – Monitor – Act) Protocol is designed to buy time and lower costs through the proactive approach “finding them before they find us.” DAMA activities focus on habitat interfaces where reservoirs critical for disease outbreaks to recur interact with humans and the plants and animals upon which they rely. Further cost reductions can be achieved through enlisting citizen scientists connected by cell phone apps with cooperating networks of specialists, who would assess findings and make recommendations for additional monitoring and action activities. As a visiting senior fellow of iASK, I am scheduled for copy editing and proofreading/indexing of the climate change and diseases book, and writing on the next book project, The Major Metaphors of Evolution, under contract to Springer for submission in April 2019.