Dr. Melinda Rostal
Senior Research Scientist
"The intricate links between wildlife and public health are fascinating and clearly call for a One Health approach to understanding emerging diseases, which we are demonstrating through our work in South Africa."
Dr. Melinda “Mindy” Rostal is a senior research scientist, field veterinarian, the EcoHealth Alliance Surveillance Coordinator for the PREDICT 2 program, and the Rift Valley Fever Project Manager at EcoHealth Alliance. Melinda Rostal’s work involves wildlife and livestock surveillance in hotspots around the world in order to uncover the source of emerging infectious disease.Working with EcoHealth Alliance’s network of global partners Mindy is advancing the ‘One Health’ approach by focusing her work on scientific research, training and capacity building in some of the most at-risk regions for disease emergence on the planet.
More recently, Mindy has been focusing on her work in South Africa and Bangladesh investigating rogue viruses that can have significant impacts on the health of wildlife and people. Specifically, she is involved in our DTRA funded program Understanding Rift Valley Fever in South Africa where she and a OneHealth team are investigating the effects of climate, vegetation, mosquito ecology, ruminant and human exposure to the disease. Whereas in Bangladesh she, Dr. Epstein, and Dr. Islam are working closely with a local team to study the health status of macaque monkeys and their interactions with people.
Mindy earned a BA in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. She completed a dual-degree program at the University of Minnesota where Mindy graduated with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine and a Masters in Public Health.
Mindy’s master’s thesis examined the activity of Rift Valley fever in Kenya among wildlife, domestic livestock and people. She conducted this extensive research in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s International Emerging Infectious Disease Program. Now she has brought her interest in this disease full circle with her work in South Africa.