Dr. Luis Escobar

Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Dr. Escobar’s research focuses on the distribution of biodiversity, including parasites and pathogens at global scales, and under past, current, and future environmental conditions. He uses biogeographic approaches for the understanding of diseases distributions under diverse land use and climate change conditions. He is particularly interested in global health, ecosystem health, and wildlife epidemiology. Dr. Escobar values collaborations with colleagues from diverse disciplines and geographic regions; he is actively seeking out new collaborations, particularly from fields of ecology and evolution, public health, social sciences, mathematics, and computer sciences.


Ongoing global change projects in the Escobar lab include the role of invasive species in disease transmission to native species, effects of climate change on the burden of vector-borne and water-borne diseases, and the development of analytical methods to assess the impacts of climate change on biodiversity and diseases.


Lab website

Recent Relevant Publications

Jara M, Escobar LE, Rodriges RO, Frias A, Sanhueza J, Machado G. (2019) Spatial distribution and spread potential of Leptospira serovars in Brazil. Transboundary Emerging Diseases. Accepted.

Escobar LE, Moen R, Craft ME, VanderWaal KL. (2019) Mapping potential parasite spillover from white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) to moose (Alces americanus). European Journal of Wildlife Research. 60, 1-11.

Peterson AT, Anderson RP, Cobos ME, Cuahutle M, Cuervo Robayo AP, Escobar LE, Fernandez M, Jimenez Garcia D, Lira-Noriega A, Lobo JM, Machado-Stredel F, Martinez-Meyer E, Nunez-Penichet C, Nori J, Osorio-Olvera L, Rodriguez MT, Rojas Soto O, Romero-Alvarez D, Soberon J, Varela S, Yanez-Arenas C. (2019) Curso Modelado De Nicho Ecológico, Versión 1.0. Biodiversity Informatics, 14, 1-7

Jara M, García-Roa R, Escobar LE, Torres-Carvajal O, Pincheira-Donoso D. (2019) Alternative reproductive adaptations predict asymmetric responses to climate change in lizards. Scientific Reports. 9, 5093

Johnson EE, Escobar LE, Zambrana-Torrelio C. (2019) An ecological framework for modeling the geography of disease transmission. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 34, 655-668.

Rodriguez YV, Poo-Muñoz DA, Escobar LE, Astorga F, Medina-Vogel G. (2019) Carnivore-livestock conflicts in Chile: Evidence and methods for mitigation. Human-Wildlife Interactions. 13, 50-62.

Phelps NBD, Bueno I, Poo-Munoz DA, Knowles SJ, Massarani S, Rettkowski R, Shen L, Rantala H, Phelps PLF, Escobar LE. (2019) Retrospective and predictive investigation of fish kill events. Journal of Aquatic Animal Health31, 61-70. (IF 0.906)

Peterson AT, et al. (2019) Open access solution for biodiversity journals: Don’t replace one problem with another. Diversity and Distributions. 25, 5-8.

Qiao H, Feng X, Escobar LE, Peterson AT, Soberón J, Zhu G, Papeş M. (2019) An evaluation of transferability of ecological niche models. Ecography. 42, 521-534.

Escobar LE, Romero-Alvarez D, Larkin DJ, Phelps NBD. (2019) Network analysis to inform invasive species spread among lakes. Journal of Oceanology and Limnology. In press.

Qiao H, Escobar LE, Peterson AT. Accessible areas in ecological niche comparisons of invasive species: Recognized but still overlooked. Scientific Reports; 2017;7: 1–24. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-01313-2.

Escobar LE, Kurath G, Escobar-Dodero J, Craft ME, Phelps NBD. Potential distribution of the viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus in the Great Lakes region. Journal of Fish Diseases. 2017;40: 11–28. doi:10.1111/jfd.12490.

Romero-Alvarez D, Escobar LE. Vegetation loss and the 2016 Oropuche fever outbreak in Peru. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2017;112: 292–298.

Escobar LE, Qiao H, Lee C, Phelps NBD. Novel methods in disease biogeography: A case study with Heterosporosis. Frontiers in Veterinary Science. 2017;4: 105. doi:10.3389/fvets.2017.00105.

Romero-Alvarez D, Escobar LE, Varela S, Larkin DJ, Phelps NBD. Forecasting distributions of an aquatic invasive species (Nitellopsis obtusa) under future climate scenarios. Chiang T-Y, editor. PLoS ONE. 2017;12: e0180930. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0180930.

Lepe-Lopez MA, Davila M, Canet M, Escobar LE. Distribución de Aedes aegypti y Aedes albopictus en Guatemala 2016. Ciencia, Tecnología y Salud. 2017; In press.

Velasco-Villa A, Mauldin MR, Shi M, Escobar LE, Gallardo-Romero NF, Damon I, et al. The history of rabies in the Western Hemisphere. Antiviral Research. 2017; doi:10.1016/j.antiviral.2017.03.013.

Romero-Alvarez D, Peterson AT, Escobar LE. Fatiga de vigilancia (fatigatio vigilantiae) durante epidemias. Revista Chilena de Infectología. 2017;34: 289–292.

Qiao H, Escobar LE, Saupe EE, Ji L, Soberón J. A cautionary note on the use of hypervolume kernel density estimators in ecological niche modelling. Glob Ecol Biogeogr. 2016; In press. doi:10.1111/geb.12492.

Escobar LE, Romero-Alvarez DA, Leon R, Lepe-Lopez MA, Craft ME, Borbor-Cordoba MJ, et al. Declining prevalence of disease vectors under climate change. Scientific Reports. 2016;6: 39150. doi:10.1038/srep39150.