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GCSC Seminar: Mercedes Pascual “Changing climate and vector-borne infections: some challenges of scale”
February 23, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm MST
Mercedes Pascual, Professor of Ecology and Evolution, The University of Chicago
“Changing climate and vector-borne infections: some challenges of scale”
Understanding and controlling mosquito-borne infections requires consideration of environmental and climate change at multiple temporal and spatial scales. Read more here.
Meeting ID 942 3727 1485 Passcode 816762
Abstract: Infectious diseases transmitted by mosquito vectors include persistent global health threats such as malaria and emergent ones such as dengue. Vector transmission makes these diseases particularly susceptible to changes in climate and in the environment in general. I rely on case studies of malaria in East African highlands, semi-deserts of India, and the Amazon, to illustrate responses of transmission dynamics to climate forcing at multiple temporal scales, and the challenge of control in this context. Simplistic views of development vs. climate are misguided. I then transition to dengue as representative of vector-borne infections due to arboviruses that are thriving under urbanization. Transmission dynamics in megacities of the developing world raise challenging questions on the relevant spatial scales at which to understand herd immunity and its interplay with climate drivers.
Bio: Mercedes Pascual is a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago, and an external faculty of the Santa Fe Institute. Dr. Pascual is a theoretical ecologist interested in the population dynamics of infectious diseases, their response to changing environments and their interplay with pathogen diversity. She is also interested in the structure and dynamics of large interaction networks in ecology and epidemiology. Dr. Pascual received her Ph.D. degree from the joint program of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was awarded a U.S. Department of Energy Alexander Hollaender Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship for studies at Princeton University, and a Centennial Fellowship in the area of Global and Complex Systems by the James S. McDonnell Foundation for her research at the University of Michigan. She received the Robert H. MacArthur award from the Ecological Society of America. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.