Faculty in the News, Faculty Research

Covid 19 Threatens Great Apes: Professor Gillespie provides his expertise across media outlets

“Pathogens do not respect species boundaries,” says disease ecologist Thomas Gillespie, an associate professor in Emory University’s department of environmental sciences, who studies how shrinking natural habitats and changing behaviour add to the risk of diseases spilling over from animals to humans.

The Guardian, March 18, 2020

“Apes are endangered primarily because of habitat loss and poaching, and more and more we’re seeinWg that disease is becoming an important co-factor in their endangerment.” – Professor Thomas Gillespie

Washington Post, March 25, 2020

While we all come to terms with life in the time of Covid 19, our faculty have been asked to comment about how the pandemic impacts their areas of research and expertise. Professor Gillespie has been featured in a number of articles about how Covid 19 has the potential to transmit and infect populations of great apes and how habitat loss exacerbates the spread of pathogens.

We have compiled those articles here for easier reference.

Making the link: from nature destruction to pandemic (‘Insights’, series 1 – episode 9): In this episode, disease ecologist Dr Thomas Gillespie, of Emory University, talks to Libby Peake about the relationship between the emergence of new pathogens and human induced environmental change. Podcast from Green Alliance

Tip of the iceberg’: is our destruction of nature responsible for Covid-19? – The Guardian, March 18, 2020

Coronavirus could threaten endangered great apes, scientists warn – The Washington Post, March 25, 2020

Great apes and COVID-19: Experts raise the alarm for endangered species – Emory eScience Commons, March 25, 2020

Great ape health in human pandemics – Nature, Vol 579, March 26, 2020

COVID-19 Could Threaten Great Ape Populations, Researchers Warn – Smithsonian Magazine, March 26, 2020

Orangutans and Other Great Apes Under Threat From Covid-19 – New Scientist, April 2, 2020