Skip to main content
Skip to main menu Skip to spotlight region Skip to secondary region Skip to UGA region Skip to Tertiary region Skip to Quaternary region Skip to unit footer


Mekala Sundaram

Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Assistant Professor, Department of Infectious Diseases

Dr. Sundaram is a quantitative ecologist who uses computational tools and big data approaches to study where viruses occur and which hosts carry pathogens. She uses machine learning methods to piece together a complete picture of virus replication and outbreak occurrence. The mechanisms underlying these questions usually involve a plethora of factors, such as competition, predation, biogeography, host cell receptor sequences, nutrition, immune defenses, host ecology, human socioeconomic conditions and anthropogenic pressures arising from changes in land-use. The Sundaram lab quantitatively integrates these myriad factors using data from different disciplines and scales to explore where viruses occur and where to expect pandemics. 

Research in the lab is currently focused on forecasting future epidemics and pandemics. To further this work, active areas of research include:

  1. Developing informed machine learning algorithms to forecast infectious diseases 
  2. Generating predictive socioeconomic GIS layers 
  3. Quantifying zoonotic potential of different groups of animals.  

Interested students are encouraged to reach out to Dr. Mekala Sundaram. To learn more about the lab, our webpage is
  • PhD in Quantitative Ecology
  • MS in Conservation Biology
  • BSc in Life Sciences and Biochemistry

Support us

We appreciate your financial support. Your gift is important to us and helps support critical opportunities for students and faculty alike, including lectures, travel support, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Click here to learn more about giving.

Every dollar given has a direct impact upon our students and faculty.