My research is driven largely by the question of how the ecology of an organism affects the development and maintenance of its immune system. Conversely, I am also interested in how the immune system can affect behavior. Animals, such as spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) and Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii), that consume other animals are likely exposed to pathogens from their food. Scavenging animals take this one step further and are also exposed to a wide range of potential pathogens that can be found in decomposing carcasses. Modern humans have managed to avoid this problem by eating fresh or frozen food and also by cooking their food. Scavenging carnivores must be able to either tolerate or eliminate the pathogens they obtain from their food without the aid of a freezer or cooking their food.