Biology professor Felicia Keesing has been on the Bard faculty since 2000. She has a B.S. from Stanford University and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Keesing is a community ecologist who studies the consequences of interactions among species.
Since 1995, she has studied how African savannas function when the large, charismatic animals like elephants, buffaloes, zebras, and giraffes disappear. She also studies how interactions among species influence the probability that humans will be exposed to infectious diseases. Keesing and her biology department colleague, Mike Tibbetts, currently have two grants from the National Science Foundation to study emerging tick-borne diseases of humans called anaplasmosis and babesiosis. Keesing also studies Lyme disease, another tick-borne disease. She is particularly interested in how species diversity affects disease transmission. Keesing has also received research grants from the National Geographic Society, National Institutes of Health, and Environmental Protection Agency, among others. She has been awarded the United States Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2000). She is the coeditor of Infectious Disease Ecology: Effects of Ecosystems on Disease and of Disease on Ecosystems
(2008) and has contributed to such publications as Nature
, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
, Ecology Letters
, Emerging Infectious Diseases
, Proceedings of the Royal Society
, Conservation Biology
, Trends in Ecology & Evolution
, Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
, and Canadian Journal of Zoology
, among others.