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Peter Hudson

Peter Hudson

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Willaman Professor of Biology

W229C Millennium Science Complex
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814)865-0522

Research Interests

I focus on the ecology of wildlife diseases, including zoonoses. My group uses a mixture of fieldwork, laboratory studies, and mathematical modeling to explore disease dynamics in three main study areas.

Epidemiology and Population Dynamics

We study how disease flows through wild animal populations, the mechanisms that lead to disease persistence within populations, and the consequences of individual infections on host population dynamics. For instance, how do sub-lethal effects of infection destabilize host population dynamics by influencing the fecundity of individuals?


We identify variation in transmission between infected individuals and the role of “superspreaders” in disease dynamics.

Parasite Interactions

We study how infection by one disease agent alters host susceptibility to other parasites and pathogens, and the consequences of these interactions for host population dynamics.


Much of my work has implications for the control of wildlife diseases and of emerging zoonotic disease.


Selected Publications

Grear, D. A. and P. Hudson. 2011. The dynamics of macroparasite host-self-infection: a study of the patterns and processes of pinworm (oxyuridae) aggregation. Parasitology 138(5): 619-627.

Keesing, F., L. K. Belden, P. Daszak, A. Dobson, C. D. Harvell, R. D. Holt, P. Hudson, et al. 2010. Impacts of biodiversity on the emergence and transmission of infectious diseases. Nature 468(7324): 647-652.

Luong, L. T., S. E. Perkins, D. A. Grear, A. Rizzoli, and P. J. Hudson. 2010. The relative importance of host characteristics and co-infection in generating variation in Heligmosomoldes polygyrus fecundity. Parasitology 137(6): 1003-1012.

Rademaker, V., H. M. Herrera, T. R. Raffel, P. S. D’Andrea, T. P. T. Freitas, U. G. P. Abreu, P. J. Hudson, and A. M. Jansen. 2009. What is the role of small rodents in the transmission cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma evansi (Kineteplastida Trypanosomatidae)? A study case in the Brazilian Pantanal. Acta Tropica 111(2): 102-107.

Ferrari, M., I. M. Cattadori, A. Rizzoli, and P. J. Hudson. 2009. Heligmosomoides polygyrus reduces infectation of ixodes ricinus in free-living yellow-necked mice, Apodemus flavicollis. Parasitology 136(3): 305-316.

Perkins, S. E., M. F. Ferrari, and P. J. Hudson. 2008. The effects of social structure and sex-biased transmission on macroparasite infection. Parasitology 135(13): 1561-1569.