Benny Rice is a Presidential Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He obtained a Ph.D. from the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University focused on malaria ecology and evolution in Madagascar and before that a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and global health from Arizona State University. His postdoctoral research centers on genomic and serological analysis of infectious disease across a wide diversity of community and ecosystem settings in Madagascar.
With others in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Benny Rice's research focuses on developing approaches to understand pathogen diversity and its determinants in resource-poor settings. Current research activities include efforts to understand how variation in commonly circulating viruses (including human coronaviruses) is shaped by interactions with immune responses and how burdens in vector-borne diseases (e.g., malaria) vary within and between coastal communities in Madagascar. In 2021, this involves combining field-based epidemiological studies with lab and theoretical approaches to, hopefully, better inform future disease control efforts.