Planetary Health Lab


What We Do


Lab Members

Lab Lead:
Dr. Colin Carlson, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Professor

Key Personnel

Zoe O’Donnell, Ph.D.
Project Manager

Clare Rodenberg, Ph.D., M.S.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Key Projects

Mapping the global bat immunome
Preparing for the next Zika

Why have viruses like Ebola, Nipah, or Covid-19 been able to make the jump from bats to humans? With a global network of research partnerships, we’re characterizing the within-host environment of 100+ bat species. The multi-omic data we’re gathering are providing new insights into how bats’ unique immune adaptations have emerged, and how they’ll face new pressures like extreme heat.

Mosquito-borne viruses are a perpetually-neglected pandemic threat. We’re making it easier to share experimental data on vector competence, and using laboratory-in-the-loop computational models to understand how arboviruses become established in wildlife, and anticipate where climate change, deforestation, or global transit and trade could seed the next arbovirus epidemic.

Predictive tech for the real world
Training the new generation

We’re building a global data infrastructure for One Health projects, including an atlas of the host-virus network, a global platform for sharing surveillance data, and a dozen more interconnected projects. With unprecedented training datasets, we’re building machine learning tech for real-world problems, like risk assessment tools for wildlife viruses and early warning systems for viral spillover.

Through university courses, workshops, seminars, and online resources, we’re developing a new approach to undergraduate and graduate education that familiarize students with host-virus interactions across biological scales. At the heart of our program is the Lighthouse Scholars program, a cohort of Ph.D. students learning the Verena approach to interdisciplinary, data-driven team science.