The spiny lobster Panulirus argus is an iconic species
in the Caribbean, where it supports the region's most valuable fishery.
Lobsters are susceptible to a lethal, pathogenic virus (PaV1) and we
have been studying lobster-PaV1 disease dynamics since we discovered the
disease over a decade ago. An important consideration in our research
is the role of host behavior in altering the spread of disease, which is
particularly relevant in species such as spiny lobsters that are
social. Along with laboratory and field experimentation, we have used
spatially-explicit agent-based modeling to explore how environmental
structure and host behavior influence both larval connectivity and
benthic ecology in ways that alter the spread of disease in marine ecoystems.
Mark Butler received a B.A. from Wittenberg University, a M.S. from The Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. from Florida State University. He then held postdoctoral positions at Florida State University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison before joining the faculty at Old Dominion University in 1989, where is currently Professor and Eminent Scholar in the Department of Biological Sciences.
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