News Release

Mason researchers studying zoonotic transmission pathways

Grant and Award Announcement

George Mason University

Taylor M. Anderson, Assistant Professor, Geography and Geoinformation Science, and Amira Roess, Professor, Global Health and Epidemiology, are studying zoonotic transmission pathways. 

Specifically, the researchers received funding for the project: "Investigating zoonotic transmission pathways to better understand and predict the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in urban and suburban landscapes: a case study of the white-tailed deer." 

They aim to investigate unknown transmission pathways at the human-wildlife interface in urban settings and to integrate these relevant pathways into a modeling framework that can more broadly predict the risk of spillover from wildlife to humans. White-tailed deer will be used as a case study, common in urban settings and carrying many diseases including SARS-CoV-2. Uncovering potential transmission pathways between humans and wildlife is critical for mitigating zoonotic disease spillover leading to potential new emerging diseases in human populations. 

In collaboration with researchers from University of Maryland, including project PI Dr. Travis Gallo and Co-PI Dr. Jennifer Mullinax, the researchers were awarded a total of $3,644,696 from the US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS). Co-PIs Anderson and Roess of Mason will receive $1,203,594 from University of Maryland on a subaward for this project over two years. Funding began in Aug. 2023 and will end in Aug. 2025. 


About George Mason University

George Mason University is Virginia's largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls 38,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the last half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility. Learn more at

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