Jessica Hite

Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine


PhD., Indiana University

Dr. Jessica Hite is a principal investigator in the Department of Pathobiological Sciences in the School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Hite and her team work on puzzles to understand the proximate and ultimate drivers of pathogen evolution, sometimes from the pathogen’s perspective, other times from the hosts, usually in multiple host-pathogen/parasite systems, often using a combination of molecular and quantitative tools from ecology, epidemiology, and evolution, and increasingly, with extension and art-science outreach projects that seek to bridge the gap between the needs of complex human societies and the amazing environments we inhabit.

Dr. Hite is a population ecologist by training where feedbacks between consumer-resource dynamics are key to understanding complex systems. Before joining UW–Madison, Dr. Hite was an NIH postdoctoral fellow in Clay Cressler’s lab, an EPA-STAR PhD student at Indiana University working with Dr. Spencer Hall, a Fulbright Scholar working with conservation groups and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panamá. This Fulbright experience occurred at the height of a fungal outbreak that continues to decimate amphibian populations and played a pivotal role in shifting the direction of her research toward epidemiology and public health.