The lab is part of the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics , the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences and the departments of Entomology and Biology at Penn State. Much of the research driving the lab is at the intersection of disease & behavior: how and why do parasites manipulate host behavior and what is the role of behavior in reducing disease transmission?

We are committed to engaging with the public through open-access publications and media, using our work to enhance ant biocontrol and global food security, and through educational outreach to learners of all ages.



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Image: Steve Osborn/TEDxPSU

Penn State News
Bill Zimmerman
January 22, 2015

TEDxPSU Facebook PageTEDxPSU Facebook Timeline Featurette

January 1, 2015

Happy 2015 TEDsters! We are happy to announce David Hughes as our next speaker at TEDxPSU 2015: Push To Start conference

David Hughes, an assistant professor of entomology and biology at Penn State, is a rainforest ecologist with a special interest in parasites. In particular, he is fascinated by that subset of parasites that accomplishes its ends by mind control: invading the brain of a hapless host and causing that creature to do its bidding. Zombie behavior, biologists call the phenomenon. With his research, he has been a consultant on the popular video game “The Last of Us”.

Hughes grew up a poor kid in Dublin, Ireland and was kicked out of school at the age of 15. At 19, David went back to high school, then to Glasgow, Oxford, Copenhagen and Harvard universities.

Now at a Land Grant school he got a chance to work on issues around Ag and how we might prevent future famines. Not only in Ireland but in Sub Saharan Africa and other developing regions like the Indian Sub-continent.

He built (with Marcel Salathe) PlantVillage- a social network site that seeks to transform the way we share knowledge so we can grow more food for a 9 Billion + world.

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