Movement data provides insight into feedbacks and heterogeneities in host-parasite interactions

Orr Spiegel, Nili Anglister, Miranda M. Crafton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Behavioral feedbacks in host-parasite interactions have received growing attention in recent years, emphasizing how host behavior (e.g., movement and social connections) is simultaneously affecting-and affected by-parasite transmission and infection. This conceptual development highlights the need to obtain longitudinal data on individuals, their movements, and their social interactions. Conveniently, parallel developments in collecting and analyzing animal tracking data offer an opportunity to better integrate movement ecology into host-parasite dynamics. Tracking devices like miniaturized Global Positioning System (GPS) tags and complementary sensors such as accelerometers provide data on the effects of host movement on their potential to transmit parasites (e.g., how far, when, where, and to whom can parasites be transmitted). Tracking can also demonstrate the influence of parasites on host behavior and movement (e.g., via indirect physiological illness effects, or through direct manipulation of the hosts internal state). This chapter discusses the potential of movement data to bridge knowledge gaps in behavioral feedbacks of host-parasite dynamics and to account for the variation among individual hosts and across heterogeneous environments. It outlines the diverse pathways of mutual influence between host movement and parasite dynamics and the insights that can be gained from collecting movement data. It also provides basic guidance on the relevant tracking methods required for achieving these goals, and for parameterizing modern modeling approaches that include social network analyses and individual-based models.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnimal Behavior and Parasitism
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780192895561
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • home range
  • pathogens
  • social networks
  • space-use
  • spatial personalities
  • spatially explicit
  • state-dependent models

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Medicine


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