The course of my life (C.V.) currently brings me to a postdoctoral appointment in the Drake lab at the University of Georgia’s Odum School of Ecology. My appointment is funded by MIDAS as a part of Project AERO, which has the stated goal of developing new methods for forecasting emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases based on the theory of critical slowing down. Professors Drake and Park are supervising me.
The main theme of my research has been the development of methods to identify and estimate parameters for models of disease contact and transmission. My work has shown that, by pooling information from many outbreaks, transmission rates can be much more accurately estimated and associated with predictive variables. I have also developed a method to estimate the rates at which HIV-risk relationships form and break from a complex survey data set. My work has also demonstrated how contact heteorgeneity may influence estimates of pathogen incidence based on molecular data, and a related project that develops methods for regression modeling of pathogen migration rates based on location-tagged sequences is in progress. In some work on identification of models for the spread of an emerging porcine disease I learned about critical slowing down, and I’m looking forward to exploring the practical implications of such phenomena for surveillance.