April 24, 2014
(this workshop has been rescheduled to a later date TBA)
Workshop on Climate Change and Ecology of Vector-borne Diseases
Fields Institute
Organizer: Huaiping Zhu (York)

This workshop is part of the Pan-Canadian Thematic Program on
Models and Methods in Ecology, Epidemiology and Public Health

Climate change is a significant and emerging threat to public health, and changes the way we must look at protecting vulnerable populations. Infectious diseases, especially vector-borne diseases (VBD) are the ones in which the pathogenic microorganism is transmitted from an infected individual to another by an arthropod or other agent, sometimes with other animals serving as intermediary hosts. According to the WHO, nearly half the world's population is infected by vector-borne diseases, resulting in high morbidity and mortality. Important determinants of VBD transmission include: (i) vector survival and reproduction, (ii) the vector's biting rate, and (iii) the pathogen's incubation rate within the vector organism. Vectors, pathogens and hosts each survive and reproduce within a range of optimal climatic conditions: temperature and precipitation are the most important determinants, while landscape variation and composition, sea level elevation, humidity, wind, and daylight duration are also important factors to impact the vector population and virus transmission and spread..

There have been mathematical studies of VBD, but the impact of climate on the ecology of diseases was ignored due to a lack of climatic data and difficulties in modeling such impacts. Public health agencies have been running surveillance programs for emerging or re-emerging VBD, but effective forecasting or prediction is still lacking..

The goal of this workshop is to create a cross-disciplinary platform to foster exchange and synergy between different approaches including those of mathematicians, statisticians, geographers, atmospheric scientists, demographers, public health scientists, epidemiologists, specific disease experts, entomologists. We believe that this workshop will provide a unique opportunity for researchers with passion and keen interest in pursuing serious collaborative interdisciplinary work in the field of mathematical modeling studies of the impact of climate change on the ecology of VBD..

Invited speakers and participants (confirmed):
Zhilan Feng (Purdue)
Mats Gyllenberg (Helsinki)
Wenzhang Huang (Huntsville)
Suzanne Lenhart (Knoxville)
Yuan Lou (Ohio)
William Reisen (UC Davis)
Shigui Ruan (Miami)
Yasuhiro Takeuchi (Shizuoka University, Japan)
Jianhong Wu (York)
Don DeAngelis (Miami)
Mary Lou Zeeman (Bowdoin)
Xiaonong Zhou (National Institute of Parasitic Diseases, China)

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