Patrick Leighton Bio

Patrick Leighton

BSc, PhD


Dr. Patrick Leighton is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology & Public Health in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the Université de Montréal. He is an active member of the Research Group on Epidemiology of Zoonoses and Public Health (GREZOSP), his research focuses on the ecology and epidemiology of zoonotic diseases, with an emphasis on vector-borne diseases (West Nile Virus, Lyme disease). He earned his PhD in Biology from McGill University and completed post-doctoral training in Epidemiology of Zoonotic Disease and Spatial Epidemiology at the Université de Montréal and University of Toronto, respectively. His training as a researcher focused on the ecology of wild animal populations, with specific applications to predicting the spread of Lyme disease in Canada. His extensive experience designing and carrying out field studies has included co-coordinating field operations for active surveillance of emerging Lyme disease foci in southern Québec from 2009-present in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the Institut National de Santé Publique du Québec (INSPQ). His specific expertise in statistical and mathematical modelling has propelled the development of data-driven risk maps and model projections of Lyme disease spread in Canada, through ongoing collaboration with PHAC researchers.


Dr. Leighton leads The Leighton Lab. Research in the lab is connected by two major themes: 1) the ecology of zoonotic diseases and 2) the influence of animal ecology and landscape structure on the spatial pattern of species interactions (e.g. predation, disease transmission). Current research in the lab is focused on understanding the ecology of parasites and zoonotic pathogens of public health significance (e.g. Ixodes scapularis ticks and Lyme disease, Rabies virus, and West Nile virus) and predicting their geographic spread, particularly in the context of climate change.


Patrick Leighton is a Principal Applicant on the grant. He will co-lead research activities in risk reduction and prevention (Pillar 2).