Benjamin M. Bolker

McMaster University

136Publications

46H-index

12.8kCitations

Publications 136

Newest

Predicting West Nile virus transmission in North American bird communities using phylogenetic mixed effects models and eBird citizen science data

#1Morgan P. Kain (McMaster University)H-Index: 3

#2Benjamin M. Bolker (McMaster University)H-Index: 46

West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-transmitted disease of birds that has caused bird population declines and can spill over into human populations. Previous research has identified bird species that infect a large fraction of the total pool of infected mosquitoes and correlate with human infection risk; however, these analyses cover small spatial regions and cannot be used to predict transmission in bird communities in which these species are rare or absent. Here we present a mechanistic model ...

#1Michael Li (McMaster University)H-Index: 4

#2Benjamin M. Bolker (McMaster University)H-Index: 46

Last.David J. D. Earn (McMaster University)H-Index: 34

view all 5 authors...

Mathematical and statistical models are used to project the future time course of infectious disease epidemics and the expected future burden on health care systems and economies. Influenza is a particularly important disease in this context because it causes annual epidemics and occasional pandemics. In order to forecast health care utilization during epidemics—and the effects of hospitalizations and deaths on the contact network and, in turn, on transmission dynamics—modellers must make assump...

#1Madelon van de Kerk (UF: University of Florida)H-Index: 5

#2David P. Onorato (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)H-Index: 8

Last.Madan K. Oli (UF: University of Florida)H-Index: 35

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#1Mollie E. Brooks (DTU: Technical University of Denmark)H-Index: 7

#2Kasper Kristensen (DTU: Technical University of Denmark)H-Index: 14

Last.Benjamin M. Bolker (McMaster University)H-Index: 46

view all 7 authors...

Reproduction by individuals is typically recorded as count data (e.g., number of fledglings from a nest or inflorescences on a plant) and commonly modeled using Poisson or negative binomial distributions, which assume that variance is greater than or equal to the mean. However, distributions of reproductive effort are often underdispersed (i.e., variance < mean). When used in hypothesis tests, models that ignore underdispersion will be overly conservative and may fail to detect significant patte...

#1Jonathan Dushoff (McMaster University)H-Index: 48

#2Morgan P. Kain (McMaster University)H-Index: 3

Last.Benjamin M. Bolker (McMaster University)H-Index: 46

view all 3 authors...

#1Sang Woo Park (McMaster University)H-Index: 3

#2Benjamin M. Bolker (McMaster University)H-Index: 46

Sexual reproduction persists in nature despite its large cost. The Red Queen Hypothesis postulates that parasite pressure maintains sexual reproduction in the host population by selecting for the ability to produce rare genotypes that are resistant to infection. Mathematical models have been used to lay theoretical foundations for the hypothesis; empirical studies have confirmed these predictions. For example, Lively used a simple host-parasite model to predict that the frequency of sexual hosts...

#1Dana L. Karelus (UF: University of Florida)H-Index: 2

#2J. Walter McCown (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)H-Index: 8

Last.Madan K. Oli (UF: University of Florida)H-Index: 35

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Context Animals’ use of space and habitat selection emerges from their movement patterns, which are, in turn, determined by their behavioural or physiological states and extrinsic factors. Aim The aims of the present study were to investigate animal movement and incorporate the movement patterns into habitat selection analyses using Global Positioning System (GPS) location data from 16 black bears (Ursus americanus) in a fragmented area of Florida, USA. Methods Hidden Markov models (HMMs) were u...

#1Alexander Shenkin (Environmental Change Institute)H-Index: 12

#2Benjamin M. Bolker (McMaster University)H-Index: 46

Last.Francis E. Putz (UF: University of Florida)H-Index: 63

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Large trees in the tropics are reportedly more vulnerable to droughts than their smaller neighbours. This pattern is of interest due to what it portends for forest structure, timber production, car...

Human ectoparasite transmission of the plague during the Second Pandemic is only weakly supported by proposed mathematical models

#1Sang Woo Park (McMaster University)H-Index: 3

#2Jonathan Dushoff (McMaster University)H-Index: 48

Last.Benjamin M. Bolker (McMaster University)H-Index: 46

view all 5 authors...

Dean et al. (1) infer that human ectoparasites were the dominant mode of transmission of plague ( Yersinia pestis ) during the Second Pandemic by comparing models representing distinct transmission routes. The authors are to be commended for providing detailed information on their computational approach (2). However, due to inconsistent modeling choices and reliance on strong assumptions, their analysis does not support their main conclusion. Comparing discrete mechanistic models to infer biolog...

Fitting mechanistic epidemic models to data: A comparison of simple Markov chain Monte Carlo approaches.

#1Michael Li (McMaster University)H-Index: 4

#2Jonathan Dushoff (McMaster University)H-Index: 48

Last.Benjamin M. Bolker (McMaster University)H-Index: 46

view all 3 authors...

Simple mechanistic epidemic models are widely used for forecasting and parameter estimation of infectious diseases based on noisy case reporting data. Despite the widespread application of models to emerging infectious diseases, we know little about the comparative performance of standard computational-statistical frameworks in these contexts. Here we build a simple stochastic, discrete-time, discrete-state epidemic model with both process and observation error and use it to characterize the eff...

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