Dr. Lisa Belden

Biological Sciences

Dr. Belden is a community ecologist working primarily in the field of disease ecology. Several projects in the Belden lab have direct ties to the IGC program, including work examining the role of species diversity in trematode parasite dynamics in wildlife populations, and the role of symbiotic skin microbes in preventing amphibian infection by the chytrid fungus that has caused many amphibian population declines around the world.

Dr. Belden is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech, and a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. She serves on the board of directors of SEEDS, a non-profit environmental education organization located in Blacksburg, Virginia. She has published more than 40 peer-reviewed papers.

At Virginia Tech, Dr. Belden regularly teaches an undergraduate course in evolutionary biology and a graduate course in community ecology. She has also taught a senior-level capstone course, Advanced Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, and several graduate seminar courses, including one on maintaining work/life balance in academia.


Email address      Lab Website


Recent Relevant Publications

Chambers, D.L., J.M. Wojdak, P. Du and L.K. Belden. 2013. Pond acidification may explain differences in corticosterone among salamander populations. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 86: 224-232.

Detwiler, J.T., A.M. Zajac, D.J. Minchella, and L.K. Belden. 2012. Revealing cryptic diversity in a definitive host: Echinostomes in muskrats. Journal of Parasitology 98: 1148-1155.

Sokol, E.R., E.F. Benfield, L.K. Belden, and H.M. Valett. 2011. The assembly of ecological communities inferred from taxonomic and functional composition. American Naturalist 177: 630-644.

Belden, L.K. and J.M. Wojdak. 2011. The combined influence of trematode parasites and predatory salamanders on wood frog (Rana sylvatica) tadpoles. Oecologia 166: 1077-1086.

Keesing, F., L.K. Belden, P. Daszak, A. Dobson, D. Harvell, R.D. Holt, P. Hudson, A. Jolles, K. Jones, C. Mitchell, T. Bogich and R.S. Ostfeld. 2010. Impacts of biodiversity on the emergence and transmission of infectious diseases. Nature 468: 647-652.

Belden, L.K. and R.N. Harris. 2007. Infectious diseases in wildlife: the community ecology context. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 10(5): 533-539.

For a complete list of published work, please see Dr. Belden’s website.