Many fields in the biological sciences have witnessed a shift away from organism- or taxon-focused research and teaching in favor of more conceptual and process-driven paradigms. The field of parasitology is no exception, despite the diversity of topics and taxa it encompasses. Concurrently, however, interest in disease ecology has increased dramatically, suggesting new opportunities that merit exploration, as well as the need for parasitology to promote its long history of ecological research to do so. Here we undertake a quantitative analysis of metrics relating to publications, research funding, career opportunities, and undergraduate teaching to comprehensively illustrate the rising prominence of disease ecology. While we distinguish generally between the fields of parasitology and disease ecology, we also emphasize the common interests and complementary approaches that enhanced integration could offer. To illustrate why enhanced integration between these 2 fields is increasingly critical, we highlight 2 successful areas in which parasitology and disease ecology have intersected (community assembly and scale, and the effects of natural enemies on life history traits). We conclude by identifying “frontier topics” that will benefit from greater cooperation and interaction between these currently relatively separate areas and the need for principal investigators to identify and communicate changes in their discipline to students and trainees, which will collectively result in many possible new benefits and prospects for current and future researchers.
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