Cara Brook

Grantee Insights: ‘Why Fruit Bats? Why Not?’

It is high summer in Madagascar and the sun beats down relentlessly on our dusty field camp. I huddle beneath an invasive pine tree in this impacted landscape, trying to protect my laptop from the bright glare of the masoandro — ...

It always starts with a question: Teaching science in Madagascar

I wrote to you last as a Princeton doctoral student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, where I studied the transmission dynamics of potentially zoonotic--or human-infecting--viruses carried by Malagasy fruit bats. Disease ecologists like myself use mathematical modeling tools to understand ...

Seeking an End to the Terror of Rabies in Madagascar

“Haromotana,” nods the nurse in the remote health clinic in western Madagascar. She’s only seen one case in her lifetime, but she remembers the incident from five years prior as though it happened only yesterday. She shudders slightly as ...

Climate, Movement, and the Spread of Disease

Setting the Scene On the southwest coast of Madagascar, the sun burns bright and fierce over white-hot sands and turquoise seas. The plants are small and spiny and hardened against the relentless drought—they store water over long periods in ...

Conservation Triumphs on the Eighth Continent

The sunset is purple and gold in Madagascar’s dampest and most biodiverse Makira-Masoala rainforest, and the flying foxes soar high over our nets, headed westward to feed for the night on the fruit trees that line the distant coast. ...

Seeing Exploration in Madagascar Through New Eyes

“You’re telling me you’re not nostalgic, then give me another word for it” —Joan Baez, “Diamonds and Rust” It’s almost two years to the day since I arrived in Madagascar to begin my doctoral research, brimming with ...

Learning Big Answers From Small Creatures

  Losing Track of Time Time flies on the Eighth Continent. The summer rains have long given way to the dry chill of a highland autumn here in Madagascar, and the days grow short as night falls abruptly at this ...

Madagascar in the Season of Lightning

In Malagasy, the fahavaratra corresponds roughly to the season that we in the West like to call “summer.” But it’s a different sort of summer from any I have ever known. Varatra means lightning, of the sort that strikes ...

A Golden Farewell in Madagascar

It’s dusk on the eve of yet another departure from Madagascar, and I find myself once again in my ever-present state of leave-taking. A year ago—true to my fomba—I quoted Steinbeck on this subject when I said ...

The Circle of Life on the Eighth Continent

My third Thanksgiving has come and gone in Madagascar, and I think about my fiainana sambatra—my blessed life—as I explain the American fety to this month’s ekipa fanihy, the bat team. I’ve purchased a live chicken ...

Rainforest Blessings and Curses in Rural Madagascar

Summer has come early to the far side of the world, and the days are long, hot and dripping. I write from Madagascar’s Makira-Masoala peninsula, the island’s densest and most biodiverse rainforest where my team and I are ...

Springtime and Possibility in Madagascar

Cara Brook is a Disease Ecologist working in the Andrew Dobson Lab at Princeton. She currently studies the great bats of Madagascar—flying foxes—and the diseases that they carry that could spill over into humans. Capturing and studying wild ...

My Fihavanana Malagasy: At Home on the Eighth Continent

Cara Brook is a Disease Ecologist working in the Andrew Dobson Lab at Princeton. She currently studies the great bats of Madagascar—flying foxes—and the diseases that they carry that could spill over into humans. Capturing and studying wild ...

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Mostly Madagascar!)

Cara Brook is a Disease Ecologist working in the Andrew Dobson Lab at Princeton. She currently studies the great bats of Madagascar—flying foxes—and the diseases that they carry that could spill over into humans. Capturing and studying wild ...