Gund Postdoctoral Fellow, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources

Luz de Wit is a veterinarian and ecologist whose research interests lie at the interface of human health and biodiversity conservation. She has focused most of her research on the human health impacts of invasive species and on the dual public health and conservation benefits of invasive species management.

Luz is currently a Gund Postdoctoral Associate in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. Her current research uses rat lungworm, an emerging snail-borne disease, as a study system to understand the combined effects of invasive species and land use change on human health. Her goal is to integrate public health into evidence-based policy recommendations for management of invasive species and ecosystems.


  • de Wit L. A., D. Croll, B. Tershy, K. Newton, D. Spatz, N. Holmes, and A. M. Kilpatrick. Estimating burdens of neglected tropical zoonotic diseases on islands with introduced mammals to guide control and eradication assessments. Am. J. Trop. Med. and Hyg. 96(3), 2017, pp. 749-757.
  • Sharifa G. Crandall, Jennifer L. Ohayon, Luz A. de Wit, J.E. Hammond, Kate L. Melanson, Monica M. Moritsch, Rob Davenport, Diana Ruiz, Bradford Keitt, Nick D. Holmes, Heath G. Packard, Jeffrey Bury, Gregory S. Gilbert & Ingrid M. Parker (2018) Best practices: social research methods to inform biological conservation. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management. 25:1, 6-23,
  • de Wit L. A., D. Croll, B. Tershy, D. Correa, H. Luna-Pasten, P. Quadri, and A. M. Kilpatrick. (2019) Potential public health benefits from cat eradications on islands. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 13(2): e0007040.
  • Karen Shapiro, Lillian Bahia-Oliveira, Brent Dixon, Aurélien Dumètre, Luz A. de Wit, Elizabeth VanWormer, and Isabelle Villena. (2019) Environmental transmission of Toxoplasma gondii: Oocysts in water, soil and food. Food and Waterborne Parasitology 12: e00049.
  • de Wit L. A., E. VanWormer, A. M. Kilpatrick, D. Croll, B. Tershy, M. Kim, K. Shapiro. Seasonal and spatial patterns of variability of Toxoplasma gondii in soil from urban public. Zoonosis and Public Health. In review.
  • de Wit L. A., K. Zilliacus, D. Will, P. Quadri, B. Tershy, G. Howlad, D. Croll. Evaluating invasive species eradications on islands under the scope of the United Nations Sustainability Goals. In preparation.
  • Vickery A. G., L. A. de Wit, A. M. Kilpatrick. Trophic transmission fails to explain exposure of mammalian carnivores to plague, a pathogen with multiple transmission pathways. In preparation.
  • de Wit L., E. Dodd, C. Kreuder-Johnson, and M. Miller. Polyparasitism in Southern Sea Otters: HostParasite and Parasite-Parasite Interactions with Repercussions for Survival. In preparation.
Gund Postdoctoral Fellow Luz de Wit

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

One Health/Planetary Health, conservation biology, neglected zoonotic diseases, disease ecology


  • PhD, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California Santa Cruz
  • MS, Conservation Medicine, Tufts University
  • BA, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)