Jonathan H. Epstein, DVM, MPH

Cert. International Medicine
Associate Vice President, EcoHealth Alliance
Executive Director, Consortium for Conservation Medicine 
460 West 34th Street, 17th floor
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212.380.4467 or 212.380.4460 


Brandeis University, Boston, Massachusetts, BA, 1996
The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, Grafton, Massachusetts, D.V.M., cert. International Medicine. 2002
Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA. M.P.H. 2002


His research interests include the ecology of zoonotic viruses such as Nipah virus, Ebola and SARS; zoonotic disease emergence at the human-animal interface; pathogen discovery; and trade as a mechanism for disease emergence.  He is currently investigating the ecology of Nipah virus in Bangladesh, where outbreaks occur in people almost every year with mortality rates exceeding 90%.  The focus of this research is to better understand the factors that cause this lethal virus to emerge, and to develop models that will predict and help prevent future outbreaks.  Dr. Epstein is also EHA’s Asia Regional Coordinator for the USAID-funded Emerging Pandemic Threats: PREDICT program.

In 2004, he was part of a team of Chinese, Australian, and American scientists that identified bats as the natural wildlife reservoir for SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) in China.  This discovery further highlighted the significance of live animal markets that contain wild animal species together at high density with domestic animals and people, as a mechanism for zoonotic disease emergence. Results from this work were published in the journal Science.

His scientific interests include:

Conservation Medicine: understanding the dynamics of emerging zoonoses by exploring host ecology and the interface between wildlife, domestic animals, and humans in order to characterize how pathogens are transmitted and how to prevent disease emergence. 

Molecular epidemiology / pathogen discovery


  • Pulliam JR, Epstein JH, Dushoff J, Rahman SA, Meehan G, Bunning M, HERG, Jamaluddin AA, Hyatt AD, Field HE, Dobson AP & Daszak P.  Agricultural intensification, priming for persistence, and the emergence of Nipah virus:  a lethal bat-borne zoonoses.  Journal of the Royal Society, Interface. 2011. Doi:10.1098/rsif.2011.0223
  • A. R. Sohayati, L. Hassan, S. H. Sharifah, K. Lazarus, C. M. Zaini, J. H. Epstein, N. Shamsyul Naim, H. E. Field, S. S. Arshad, J. Abdul Aziz and P. Daszak (2011). Evidence for Nipah virus recrudescence and serological patterns of captive Pteropus vampyrus. Epidemiology and Infection. 139, pp 1570-1579 doi:10.1017/S0950268811000550
  • Vandegrift, K.J.; Wale, N.; Epstein, J.H. (2011). An Ecological and Conservation Perspective on Advances in the Applied Virology of Zoonoses. Viruses 3:379-397.
  • Smith CS, Epstein JH, Breed AC, Plowright RK, Olival KJ, et al. (2011) Satellite Telemetry and Long-Range Bat Movements. PLoS ONE 6(2): e14696. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014696
  • Sohayati A. Rahman, Hassan,S.S,  Olival, K.J., Mohamed, M.,  Chang, L-Y., Hassan, L., Suri, A.S., Saad, N.M., Shohaimi, S.A., Mamat, Z.C., Epstein, J.H.,  Field, H.E., Daszak, P., and HERG. Genetic characterization of Nipah virus isolated from naturally infected Pteropus vampyrus in Malaysia.  Emerging Infectious Diseases. 16(12). DOI: 10.3201/eid1612.091790
  • Epstein JH, Quan P-L, Briese T, Street C, Jabado O, et al. (2010) Identification of GBV-D, a Novel GB-like Flavivirus from Old World Frugivorous Bats (Pteropus giganteus) in Bangladesh. PLoS Pathogens 6(7): e1000972. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000972
  • Homaira, M. Rahman, M. J. Hossain, J. H. Epstein,  R. Sultana, M.S.U Khan, G. Podder, K. Nahar, E. S. Gurley, P. Daszak, W. I. Lipkin, P. E. Rollin, J. A. Comer, T. G. Ksiazek, S. P. Luby. Nipah outbreak with person-to-person transmission in Thakurgaon, Bangladesh 2007.  Epidemiology and Infection (Journal of Epidemiology and Infection). 2010Epidemiology and Infection. 138 (11) 1630-6.
  • Epstein, J.H. and J. Price.  Zooanthroponotic infections:  A poorly understood component of global human and animal health.  Mt. Sinai Journal of Medicine. 2009; 76(5):448-55.
  • Epstein J.H., Olival KJ, Pulliam JRC, Smith C, Westrum J, Hughes T, et al. Pteropus vampyrus, a hunted migratory species with a multinational home-range and a need for regional management. Journal of Applied Ecology. 2009 Oct;46(5):991-1002.
  • Kaufman, G.E., J.H. Epstein, J Paul-Murphy, and J.D. Modrall. Designing graduate training programs in conservation medicine - producing the right professionals with the right tools.  2008. EcoHealth vol 5. Pp. 519-27
  • Sohayati, A.R., Latifah, H., Zaini, C.M., Epstein, J.H., Daszak, P., and Sharifah, S.H.  Ketamine and Xylazine combination for short-term immobilization of wild variable flying fox (Pteropus hypomelanus).  Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. 2008. 39(4). 674-6.
  • Epstein, J.H., Prakash, V., Smith, CS., Daszak, P., McLaughlin, AB., Meehan, G., Field, HE., and Cunningham, AA. Evidence for Henipavirus infection in Indian Pteropus giganteus (Chiroptera; Pteropodidae) fruit bats 2008. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 20(8).
  • Shirai J, Sohayati AL, Daszak P, Epstein JH, Field HE, Westrum JP, Mohamed Ali AL, Suriani MN, Taniguchi T, and Sharifah SH (2007). Nipah virus survey of flying foxes in Malaysia. JARQ - Japan Agricultural Research Quarterly 41:69-78 See Corrigendum:  JARQ - Japan Agricultural Research Quarterly (2008) 42:77
  • Daszak, P., Epstein, J.H., Kilpatrick, A.M., Aguirre, A.A., Karesh, W.B. & Cunningham, A.A.  Collaborative research approaches to the role of wildlife in zoonotic disease emergence.    In:  Wildlife and Emerging Zoonotic Diseases:  The Biology, Circumstances, and Consequences of Cross-Species Transmission. Eds. Childs, J.E., J.S. MacKenzie and J.A. Richt. Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology. 2007. Pp. 463 – 475.
  • Field, H.E., Wang, L.F., Zhang, S., Daszak, P., Smith, C.S., Epstein, J.H., Shi, Z.  Searching for the natural reservoir of the SARS virus.  Preventive Veterinary Medicine. 81(1-3):  216-216 Sp. Issue.  SI, Sep 14, 2007.
  • McLaughlin, A.B., Epstein, J.H., Prakash, V., Smith, C.S., Daszak, P., Field, H.E., and Cunningham, A.A.  Plasma Biochemistry and hematologic values for wild-caught flying foxes (Pteropus giganteus) in India.   Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. 2007. 38 (3). Pp. 446-452.
  • Halpin, K., Hyatt, A.D., Plowright, R.K., Epstein, J.H., Daszak, P.,  Field, H.E., Wang, L., Daniels, P., and the Henipavirus Ecology Research Group.  Emerging viruses – coming in on a wrinkled wing and a prayer.  Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases.  2007:44. p711-717. 
  • Epstein, J.H., McKee, J., Shaw, P, Hicks, V, Micalizzi, G, Daszak, P., Kilpatrick, A. M., and Kaufman, G.  The Australian white ibis (Threskiornis Molucca) as a reservoir of zoonotic and livestock pathogens.  Ecohealth 3 (4): 290-298 DEC 2006
  • Epstein, J.H., Rahman, S.A., Zambriski, J.A., Halpin, K., Meehan, G., Jamaluddin, A.A., Hassan, S.S., Field, H.E., Hyatt, A.D., Daszak, P. & HERG.  Feral cats (Felis catus) are a low risk for zoonotic transmission of Nipah Virus.Emerging Infectious Diseases vol 12. No. 7.  July, 2006. 
  • Breed A., Field, H., Epstein, J., Plowright, R.K., and Daszak, P.  Emerging henipaviruses and flying foxes – conservation and management perspectives.  Biological Conservation.  131 (2006) 211-220.
  • Epstein, J.H.*, Field, H.E., Luby, S., Pulliam, J.R.C. & Daszak, P.  Nipah Virus: Impact, Origins and Causes of Emergence.  Current Infectious Disease Reports 2006. 8(1). pp. 59-65.
  • Pulliam, JRC, Field, HE., Olival, KJ., and the Henipavirus Ecology Research Group (Epstein).  Nipah virus strain variation.  Emerging Infectious Diseases.  11(12), 1978-1979, Dec. 2005.
  • Li, W., Shi, Z., Yu, M., Ren, W., Smith, C.S., Epstein, J.H., Wang, H., Crameri, G., Hu, Z., Zhang, H., Jianhong, Z., McEachern, J., Field, H.E., Daszak, P., Zhang, S., Eaton, B.T. & Wang, L.-F. (2005). Bats are natural reservoirs of SARS-like coronaviruses. Science, 2005 310:676-679.
  • Daszak, P., Tabor, G.M., Kilpatrick, A.M., Epstein, J. & Plowright, R. (2004).  Conservation Medicine and a new agenda for emerging diseases.  Annals of the New York Academy of Science 1026: 1-11.
  • Jonathan A Patz, Peter Daszak, Gary M Tabor, A. Alonso Aguirre, Mary Pearl, Jonathan Epstein, Nathan D. Wolfe, Johannes Foufopoulos, David Molyneux, David J. Bradley, and Members of the Working Group Land Use Change and Disease Emergence.  Environmental Health Perspectives.  Vol. 112., No.10,  July 2004.  1092-1098.   
  • McCall Bradley J, Epstein Jonathan H, Neill Annette.  Potential Human Exposure to Australian Bat Lyssavirus, Queensland, 1996-1999.  Emerging Infectious Diseases. Vol. 6, No.3, 259-264, May-Jun, 2000


  • Olival, KJ, JH Epstein, LF Wang, HE Field and P Daszak (In Press). Are bats unique viral reservoirs? Conservation Medicine 2nd Ed., A.A. Aguirre, R.S. Ostfeld and P. Daszak, Oxford University Press.
  • Sustaining Life:  How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity. (2008). Chivian and Bernstein (Eds).  Oxford Univ. Press.  Contributing author – Chapter 7, Nipah virus section.
  • Daszak, P., Plowright, R., Epstein, J.H., Pulliam, J., Abdul Rahman, S., Field, H.E., Smith, C.S., Olival, K.J., Luby, S., Halpin, K., Hyatt, A.D. & the Henipavirus Ecology Research Group (HERG). The emergence of Nipah and Hendra virus:  pathogen dynamics across a wildlife-livestock-human continuum.  In:  Collinge, S.K. & Ray, C. (Eds.), Disease Ecology: Community Structure and Pathogen Dynamics. Oxford University Press.  2006; pp 186-201
  • The Encyclopedia of Mammals. (2006)  David MacDonald (Ed).  Contributing Author, Flying Foxes (Bats) section.