Wildlife disease ecology; behavioral, population and community ecology; conservation biology; mammalian carnivores.
Gompper’s research examines a wide array of topics in ecology, evolution and conservation, with a central focus on the basic and applied science of wildlife disease ecology and mammalian carnivore ecology. Often these two themes are addressed simultaneously by using carnivores as model organisms or by examining how parasites influence carnivore behavioral, population or community ecology. This research agenda makes use of diverse analytical tools, experimental and observational field studies, molecular genetics, including non-invasive census techniques, laboratory parasitology and virology, GIS approaches, and a range of data analysis procedures, and often involves collaborative efforts with other researchers at the University of Missouri and across the globe.
Current projects include studies of disease transmission between domestic and native carnivores; predictive modeling of individual-level exposure to pathogens; the community ecology of mesopredator guilds; the role of social behavior in disease transmission; the ontogeny of carnivore social structure; the extent to which diseases limit predator populations; and the history, ecology, and conservation of diverse mammalian taxa.
Current study organisms (hosts) include raccoons, coyotes, small cats, free-ranging dogs, coatis, spotted skunks, foxes, otters, and tigers. Current study parasites include viruses (canine distemper virus, canine and feline parvoviruses, and rabies virus), macroparasites (nematodes), and ectoparasites (ticks, fleas, and lice). Current study locales include India, Brazil, Nepal, Mexico, and the Midwestern and Northeastern USA.