Maxwell J Farrell

Maxwell J Farrell
McGill University | McGill · Department of Biology

About

41
Publications
6,647
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572
Citations
Citations since 2016
38 Research Items
565 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022050100150
2016201720182019202020212022050100150

Publications

Publications (41)
Article
Full-text available
Illuminating the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of parasites is one of the most pressing issues facing modern science, and is critical for basic science, the global economy and human health. Extremely important to this effort are data on the disease-causing organisms of wild animal hosts (including viruses, bacteria, protozoa, helminths, arth...
Article
Full-text available
Identifying drivers of infectious disease patterns and impacts at the broadest scales of organisation is one of the most crucial challenges for modern science, yet answers to many fundamental questions remain elusive. These include what factors commonly facilitate transmission of pathogens to novel host species, what drives variation in immune inve...
Article
Host extinction can alter disease transmission dynamics, influence parasite extinction, and ultimately change the nature of host-parasite systems. While theory predicts that single-host parasites are among the parasite species most susceptible to extinction following declines in their hosts, documented parasite extinctions are rare.Using a comparat...
Article
Game parks are the last preserve of many large mammals, and in savanna ecosystems, management of surface waters poses a conservation challenge. In arid and semi-arid regions, water can be a scarce resource during dry seasons and drought. Artificial waterholes are common in parks and reserves across Africa, but can alter mammal community composition...
Article
The ongoing risk of emerging infectious disease has renewed calls for understanding the origins of zoonoses and identifying future zoonotic disease threats. Given their close phylogenetic relatedness and geographic overlap with humans, non‐human primates (NHPs) have been the source of many infectious diseases throughout human evolution. NHPs harbor...
Article
Full-text available
Ecology and evolutionary biology, like other scientific fields, are experiencing an exponential growth of academic manuscripts. As domain knowledge accumulates, scientists will need new computational approaches for identifying relevant literature to read and include in formal literature reviews and meta-analyses. Importantly, these approaches can a...
Article
Full-text available
Data that catalogue viral diversity on Earth have been fragmented across sources, disciplines, formats, and various degrees of open sharing, posing challenges for research on macroecology, evolution, and public health. Here, we solve this problem by establishing a dynamically maintained database of vertebrate-virus associations, called The Global V...
Article
Despite their importance in many ecological processes, collecting data and information on ecological interactions is an exceedingly challenging task. For this reason, large parts of the world have a data deficit when it comes to species interactions, and how the resulting networks are structured. As data collection alone is unlikely to be sufficien...
Article
Parasites that infect multiple species cause major health burdens globally, but for many, the full suite of susceptible hosts is unknown. Predicting undocumented host‐parasite associations will help expand knowledge of parasite host specificities, promote the development of theory in disease ecology and evolution, and support surveillance of multi‐...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the global investment in One Health disease surveillance, it remains difficult and costly to identify and monitor the wildlife reservoirs of novel zoonotic viruses. Statistical models can guide sampling target prioritisation, but the predictions from any given model might be highly uncertain; moreover, systematic model validation is rare, a...
Article
Full-text available
Better methods to predict and prevent the emergence of zoonotic viruses could support future efforts to reduce the risk of epidemics. We propose a network science framework for understanding and predicting human and animal susceptibility to viral infections. Related approaches have so far helped to identify basic biological rules that govern cross-...
Article
Full-text available
Species are shifting their distributions in response to climate change. This geographic reshuffling may result in novel co-occurrences among species, which could lead to unseen biotic interactions, including the exchange of parasites between previously isolated hosts. Identifying potential new host–parasite interactions would improve forecasting of...
Article
A growing body of research is focused on the extinction of parasite species in response to host endangerment and declines. Beyond the loss of parasite species richness, host extinction can impact apparent parasite host specificity, as measured by host richness or the phylogenetic distances among hosts. Such impacts on the distribution of parasites...
Article
Full-text available
In the light of the urgency raised by the COVID-19 pandemic, global investment in wildlife virology is likely to increase, and new surveillance programmes will identify hundreds of novel viruses that might someday pose a threat to humans. To support the extensive task of laboratory characterization, scientists may increasingly rely on data-driven r...
Article
Full-text available
The fields of viral ecology and evolution are rapidly expanding, motivated in part by concerns around emerging zoonoses. One consequence is the proliferation of host–virus association data, which underpin viral macroecology and zoonotic risk prediction but remain fragmented across numerous data portals. In the present article, we propose that synth...
Preprint
Full-text available
Data cataloguing viral diversity on Earth have been fragmented across sources, disciplines, formats, and various degrees of open collation, posing challenges for research on macroecology, evolution, and public health. Here, we solve this problem by establishing a dynamically-maintained database of vertebrate-virus associations, called The Global Vi...
Article
Full-text available
Due to expanding global trade and movement of people, new plant species are establishing in exotic ranges at increasing rates while the number of native species facing extinction from multiple threats grows. Yet, how species losses and gains globally may, together, be linked to traits and macroevolutionary processes is poorly understood. Here, we s...
Preprint
Full-text available
At most 1-2% of the global virome has been sampled to date. Here, we develop a novel method that combines Linear Filtering (LF) and Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) to infer host-virus associations. Using this method, we recovered highly plausible undiscovered interactions with a strong signal of viral coevolutionary history, and revealed a globa...
Preprint
Full-text available
In light of the urgency raised by the COVID-19 pandemic, global investment in wildlife virology is likely to increase, and new surveillance programs will identify hundreds of novel viruses that might someday pose a threat to humans. Our capacity to identify which viruses are capable of zoonotic emergence depends on the existence of a technology—a m...
Preprint
Full-text available
The fields of viral ecology and evolution have rapidly expanded in the last two decades, driven by technological improvements, and motivated by efforts to discover potentially zoonotic wildlife viruses under the rubric of pandemic prevention. One consequence has been a massive proliferation of host-virus association data, which comprise the backbon...
Preprint
Full-text available
The analysis of waterborne environmental DNA (eDNA) is effective for detecting invasive species and conducting large-scale biodiversity assessments, making it a potentially powerful tool for documenting diversity at sites where large numbers of species aggregate. We explore the utility of eDNA from waterholes for describing local mammal communities...
Preprint
Full-text available
Due to expanding global trade and movement, new plant species are establishing in exotic ranges at increasing rates while the number of native species facing extinction from multiple threats grows. Yet, how species losses and gains globally may together be linked to traits and macroevolutionary processes is poorly understood. Here we show that, adj...
Preprint
Full-text available
Despite massive investment in research on reservoirs of emerging pathogens, it remains difficult to rapidly identify the wildlife origins of novel zoonotic viruses. Viral surveillance is costly but rarely optimized using model-guided prioritization strategies, and predictions from a single model may be highly uncertain. Here, we generate an ensembl...
Article
Identifying undocumented or potential future interactions among species is a challenge facing modern ecologists. Recent link prediction methods rely on trait data; however, large species interaction databases are typically sparse and covariates are limited to only a fraction of species. On the other hand, evolutionary relationships, encoded as phyl...
Article
Full-text available
Much of the basic ecology of Ebolavirus remains unresolved despite accumulating disease outbreaks, viral strains and evidence of animal hosts. Because human Ebolavirus epidemics have been linked to contact with wild mammals other than bats, traits shared by species that have been infected by Ebolavirus and their phylogenetic distribution could sugg...
Article
Infectious diseases of domesticated animals impact human well-being via food insecurity, loss of livelihoods, and human infections. While much research has focused on parasites that infect single host species, most parasites of domesticated mammals infect multiple species. The impact of multihost parasites varies across hosts; some rarely result in...
Article
Full-text available
Aim We examined body size scaling relationships for two developmental life stages of parasitic helminths (egg and adult) separately in relationship to latitude (i.e. Bergmann's rule), temperature and temperature seasonality. Given that helminth eggs experience environmental conditions more directly, whereas adults live inside infected host individu...
Article
Bacteria are essential components of natural environments. They contribute to ecosystem functioning through roles as mutualists and pathogens for larger species, and as key components of food webs and nutrient cycles. Bacterial communities respond to environmental disturbances, and the tracking of these communities across space and time may serve a...
Article
In a recent publication (Pearse et al. 2018b), we explored the macroevolution and macroecology of passerine song using a large citizen science database of bird songs and powerful machine learning tools. Mikula et al. (2018) examine a small subset (<8%) of the data we used, and suggest that our metric of song complexity, the standard deviation of fr...
Article
The distribution of parasites across mammalian hosts is complex and represents a differential ability or opportunity to infect different host species. Here, we take a macroecological approach to investigate factors influencing why some parasites show a tendency to infect species widely distributed in the host phylogeny (phylogenetic generalism) whi...
Article
Studying the macroevolution of the songs of Passeriformes (perching birds) has proved challenging. The complexity of the task stems not just from the macroevolutionary and macroecological challenge of modelling so many species, but also from the difficulty in collecting and quantifying birdsong itself. Using machine learning techniques, we extracte...
Article
Full-text available
Languages are being lost at rates exceeding the global loss of biodiversity. With the extinction of a language we lose irreplaceable dimensions of culture and the insight it provides on human history and the evolution of linguistic diversity. When setting conservation goals, biologists give higher priority to species likely to go extinct. Recent me...
Article
Full-text available
Identifying undocumented or potential future interactions among species is a challenge facing modern ecologists. Our aim is to guide the sampling of host-parasite networks by identifying the most likely undocumented interactions. Recent link prediction methods rely on trait data, however these data are limited to only a fraction of species found in...
Article
We respond to criticism of our recent paper by examining assumptions about the structure of host-parasite networks, and discuss the implications of host extinction on our perception of parasite specificity.
Article
Full-text available
Determining the factors that influence the transmission of parasites among hosts is important for directing surveillance of animal parasites before they successfully emerge in humans, and increasing the efficacy of programs for the control and management of zoonotic diseases. Here we present a review of recent advances in the study of parasite shar...
Article
Aquatic hypoxia can affect predator-prey interactions by altering the success rate of the predator and/or the vulnerability of prey. For example, in the Lake Victoria basin of East Africa, native prey exploit hypoxic wetlands as refugia from predation by introduced Nile perch (Lates niloticus). Here, it is predicted that species exploitation of wet...

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