Dr. Krista Jones is a Keller Family Secretarial Scholar and One Health Scientist with the Smithsonian's Global Health Program (GHP), which takes a One Health approach to improve the lives of wildlife, people and domestic animals. She manages the team’s expanding field program in Kenya, working closely with partners in Kenya, within the Smithsonian and elsewhere in the U.S. Dr. Jones is passionate about One Health and conservation, with a particular interest in how disturbances and behavior impact pathogen transmission in wild populations, as well as how disease moves across landscapes and how populations are affected.
Infectious diseases pose a serious threat to people and animals alike. With the changes in human land use and habitat destruction, there is increasing contact between wildlife and both domestic animals and people. Consequently, there is greater risk of transmission of novel pathogens between these groups, resulting in outbreaks of new diseases in human populations, such as SARS and MERS. Wildlife are not only at higher risk of exposure to new diseases. Their smaller, fragmented populations can also be less likely to survive outbreaks of existing pathogens. Dr. Jones focuses on understand the emergence, spread and impact of these diseases, and how we can best prevent or respond to them.
Dr. Jones' projects include:
- Investigating the underlying cause of emerging skin disease in black rhinos
- Evaluating population genetics of lions and cheetahs in the Maasai Mara to provide insight into their genetic health, behavior and population structure
- Researching vector-borne diseases in Kenya, including work with the Center for Conservation Genomics' "ecto-baits"
- Developing future studies on giraffe skin disease, together with colleagues at the Conservation Ecology Center and other collaborators