Global Environmental Health


Rainforest Ecosystems: The Amazon, Deforestation, and Malaria

October 01, 2022


Expert: Erin Mordecai, Ph.D.

Rainforests are highly beneficial to the environment providing cleaner air and the storage of carbon, but rainforests are under extreme threat from climate change, deforestation, and land-use changes from agricultural practices.

In this podcast episode, we speak with infectious disease ecologist Erin Mordecai, Ph.D., associate professor of biology at Stanford University and Senior Fellow in the Woods Institute for the Environment. We discuss rainforests, the benefits they provide to the planet, and the ways deforestation of these rainforests may be increasing risks of vector-borne diseases in global communities.

Erin Mordecai, Ph.D.

Erin Mordecai, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Stanford University. Her research focuses on the ecology of infectious disease. She is interested in how climate, species interactions, and global change drive infectious disease dynamics in humans and natural ecosystems.


Erin received her B.S. in 2007 at the University of Georgia in mathematical biology and her Ph.D. in 2012 at the University of California Santa Barbara in ecology, evolution, and marine biology. She then completed a 2-year NSF postdoctoral research fellowship in the intersection of biology and mathematical and physical sciences and engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. She is also a member of Bio-X, a faculty affiliate of the Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence and the Woods Institute for the Environment; a faculty fellow in the Center for Innovation in Global Health and the King Center on Global Development; a Leading Interdisciplinary Collaborations Fellow; and an Ecological Society for America Early Career Fellow.