Modeling the effects of Elaphostrongylus tenuis on moose populations Introduction

June 26, 2010Posted by David Haycraft


The cervine parasite E. tenuis is caused by a meningeal nematode worm that passes through a complex life cyle in which it is transmitted from the feces of white tail deer to the moose via an intermediate gastropod snail. It is one of the few diseases in moose which causes death within the host. The worm bores into the spinal cord and the membranes surrounding the brain of its host. These effects severly lower the fitness of the moose host eventually leading to its death either by disease or other causes due to lack of awareness. Dr. Fefferman and I are going to design a mathematical model to capture the system parameters, then we will analyze trends in our findings in order to better understand the system.

What I've been up to So far

June 26, 2010Posted by David Haycraft


Week 1: Advisors was in Boston so researched on project ideas we had discussed

Week 2: Decided on projected and got okayed by mentor and continued to read on the epidemiology of the disease and its effects in particular on moose individuals and population dynamics as a whole

Week 3: Decided and found the key figures and parameters necessary to model ecology and epidemiology of moose populations

Week 4: Discussed various models and was sent out to see which model applied best for our particular goals and situation

Week 5:Studied Dengue fever model and west Nile SIR model types

Week 6: Went to cancer institute with group and looked up reasons for why my project was importatn

Week 7: Looked for way to express transmission for the unique model situation

Week 8: Packed up and prepared for continued work on project from a distance

Fellow Lab Members and Advisor Collaborating

June 26, 2010Posted by David Haycraft


Advisor: Prof. Nina Fefferman PhD

Lab Member: Dr. Karlo Hock PhD

Lab Member: Brad Greening

Lab Member: Karen Wylie

Lab Member: Asya Pritsker

Lab Member: Liz Davis