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Associate Professor of Biology

Erin Mordecai

Faculty Affiliate
King Center on Global Development

Associate Professor of Biology
Department of Biology

Senior Fellow
Woods Institute for the Environment

Center Fellow, by courtesy
Woods Institute for the Environment

Erin Mordecai is an associate professor in Biology, a senior fellow in the Woods Institute for the Environment, a faculty fellow in the Center for Innovation in Global Health, and a member of Bio-X. She studies the ecology of infectious diseases in plants, animals, and humans. Using mathematical modeling and empirical methods, her research examines how climate, species interactions, and global change drive disease dynamics. 

Dr. Mordecai holds a BS from the University of Georgia and a PhD from UC Santa Barbara. After completing her PhD, she earned a mathematical biology postdoc at UNC Chapel Hill and NC State University.

Environment and Climate Change



King Center Supported Research

2019 - 2020 Academic Year | Junior Faculty Research Grant

Exploring Feedbacks Between Land Use, Behavior, and Dengue to Improve and Promote Sustainable Development and Health

Human impacts on land use are modifying habitat structure and ecological communities worldwide, often reducing ecosystem function and its benefits for people. Understanding the linkages between land use, socioeconomic conditions, and infectious disease is critical for promoting sustainable development. This project investigates the dynamics of land use change, human behavior, socioeconomic status, and rural disease transmission in Costa Rica. The central research question concerns how interactions between the environment, human behavior, and insect vector abundance affect the transmission of dengue, a viral disease. This study will investigate these feedbacks in rural Costa Rica by conducting household surveys of mosquito abundance, human attitudes, household condition, and demographic and socioeconomic factors. The results will suggest key potential behavioral changes that could be the target for future community-based research and policy.