Morgan Kain

Research Scientist

"Disease spillover is a multifaceted process that requires an interdisciplinary research strategy. EcoHealth Alliance is uniquely poised to carry out this research given the breadth of expertise at the organization, from computational workflow to disease modeling to on-the-ground surveillance of human and animal health. I am excited to bring my background at the intersection of disease and statistical ecology to further our understanding of disease spillover to improve the well-being of humans and wildlife."

Scientists Bio

Morgan joined EcoHealth Alliance in 2022 to work on understanding the circulation, shedding, and spillover of bat-borne viruses in South Africa. This work combines viral surveillance, seasonal disease dynamics, bat ecology, and human behavior. Morgan brings a background in disease and statistical ecology to the interdisciplinary project team and the broader group at EHA. Beyond this work, Morgan in broadly interested in uncovering how pathogens spread through heterogeneous host communities and understanding how changes in host communities due to anthropogenetic change can alter these pathways.

In his previous work as a PhD student and postdoctoral scholar, Morgan worked on a variety of problems in disease ecology across systems using a range of methodological and statistical tools. During his PhD Morgan studied how bird community composition impacted West Nile virus transmission and how rabbits coinfected with intestinal macroparasites impacted the evolution of virulence in the myxoma virus. During his postdoctoral work at Stanford University, he worked with Peruvian community members to understand the impact of land-use change on Dengue transmission and Australian scientists to understand the role humans play in the transmission of Ross River virus in heterogeneous host communities. When SARS-CoV-2 emerged, he worked on some of the early forecasting models and estimated how alternative non-pharmaceutical interventions would impact disease spread. In his most recent post-doctoral work with Pennsylvania State University and USGS, Morgan studied the impact of chytrid infection on individual survival across amphibian species in the US.

Beyond his research in disease ecology, Morgan’s work seeks to improve the communication of statistical results, help researchers power their studies, and provide strong examples of transparency and accessibility in statistical and mathematical modeling.

He earned a BS in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Pittsburgh, MS in Biology (statistical ecology) from East Carolina University, and a PhD in Biology (disease ecology) from McMaster University.