I am an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and a faculty associate of the Ecology Center at Utah State University. I was previously an NSF postdoc with Joshua Weitz at Georgia Tech in the School of Biology. I completed my Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics with Stephen Ellner through the Center for Applied Mathematics at Cornell University.

I am looking for graduate students to join my group. If you are interested, please follow the opportunities link for more information.

I am a theoretical ecologist interested in understanding how the interactions between population dynamics, evolution, and community structure drive the ecological and evolutionary patterns observed in natural communities. My current projects focus on (a) how between-host and between-pathogen interactions shape outbreak patterns in multi-host-multi-pathogen communities, (b) how ecological, evolutionary, and eco-evolutionary feedbacks alter community stability and population dynamics (particularly in predator-prey and host-pathogen systems), and (c) how evolution and community structure interact to influence species responses to environmental change. I use a mix of analytical methods and numerical simulations to analyze mathematical models constructed to answer these questions. Much of my work is done in collaboration with experimentalists, whose empirical systems motivate my work and are used to test theoretical predictions.

Contact Information

Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Utah State University
3900 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322

Office: 214 Animal Science
Phone: (435) 797-7695
E-mail: michael.cortez[at]usu.edu