Social-ecological Networks and Zoonotic Disease in Rural Madagascar (2019-2020)

In the villages around Madagascar’s Marojejy National Park, population growth and subsistence activities such as farming are encroaching on the protected rainforest. Deforestation impacts wildlife and changes the disease dynamics of biological systems.

Building on the work of previous project teams, the 2019-2020 team investigated how decisions about land use are affecting small mammals and disease transmission between humans and mammals.

In close partnership with the Madagascar Institute for Conservation of Tropical Ecosystems and the Duke Lemur Center–SAVA Conservation Initiative, team members sampled small mammals for infectious disease, expanded to new habitats and explored how human social networks and patterns of infection interface with the ecological setting.

Team member Courtni France, a Bioethics & Science Policy master’s student, received a Bass Connections Student Research Award to further this work. She evaluated human health, sustainable agriculture programs and conservation in the region around Marojejy.

A related Data+ project used network analysis to investigate the ecological and behavioral factors that determine parasitism in different species of primates.


Summer 2019 – Spring 2020

Team Outputs

Biodiversity and Infectious Disease in Madagascar (Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Virtual Showcase 2020)

Social Determinants of Health in Rural Madagascar: Wealth, Social Networks, and Access to Health Care (poster by Courtni France, Stephanie Green, Danielle Lodge, Miranda Metz)

Barriers to Healthcare in Rural Madagascar (poster by Courtni France, Miranda Metz, Stephanie Green, presented at Global Health Showcase, Duke University, November 4, 2019)

Biodiversity, Land Use Change and Human Health: Evidence from Northeastern Madagascar (poster by Michelle Pender, presented at Triangle Global Health Annual Conference, Durham, NC, October 16, 2019)

Project team website


Courtni France

This Team in the News

For Duke Researchers, Internal Seed Funding Yields a Robust Harvest

In the World Capital of Vanilla Production, Nearly Three Out of Four Farmers Say They Don’t Have Enough to Eat

Reflections on the Class of 2020

Care, Connection and Community: Investigating Health Access and Policy in Rural Madagascar 

One Health in the SAVA Region

The Evolution of an Evolutionary Biologist

See earlier related project, How Do People Affect Zoonotic Disease Dynamics in Madagascar? (2018-2019).

In Madagascar.

Team Leaders

  • James Herrera, Duke Lemur Center – SAVA Conservation
  • Randall Kramer, Nicholas School of the Environment-Environmental Sciences and Policy
  • Charles Nunn, Arts & Sciences-Evolutionary Anthropology

/graduate Team Members

  • Courtni France, Bioethics and Sci Policy - AM
  • Erika Munshi, Master of Environmental Management

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Stephanie Green, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Danielle Lodge, Evolutionary Anthropology (BS)
  • Miranda Metz, Biology (BS)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • James Moody, Arts & Sciences-Sociology
  • Michelle Pender, Duke Global Health Institute

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Malagasy Institute Pour La Conservation des Ecosystemes Tropical
  • Duke Lemur Center SAVA Conservation Initiative