Thematic Areas

Population Connectivity & Disease Spread

Connectivity amongst U.S. swine farms via animal movements. VanderWaal et al. 2020; Preventive Veterinary Medicine

This thematic area focuses on contact networks and population connectivity, often with a focus on animal movement data. Heterogeneity in host contact patterns is a key determinant of potential transmission pathways in the population, and elucidating contact patterns can be leveraged for targeted, risk-based surveillance and control.

Spread of FMDV through inter-connected livestock populations in East Africa, inferred using phylogeograhy. Munsey et al, In review
Modeling the efficacy of targeted surveillance strategies at minimizing bovine tuberculosis spread in cattle movement networks. VanderWaal et al., 2017, Nature Scientific Reports

Molecular Ecology of Pathogens

Multi-strain dynamics of PRRS in U.S. swine populations. Paploski et al. 2019. Molecular Ecology

Molecular ecology of pathogens capitalizes on genetic variation of pathogens to reconstruct epidemiological dynamics - a field known as genomic epidemiology. In addition, genetic and antigenic heterogeneities in pathogens influence how they interacts with immunity, which can generate immune-mediated competition among strains and also drive evolution.

FMDV transmission at the wildlife-livestock interface in Kenya. Omondi et al. 2020; Transboundary & Infecitous Diseases
Role of immunity in viral evolution. VanderWaal et al. In prep.

Spatial & Temporal Dynamics of Transmission

Forecasting the weekly risk of PEDV outbreaks at the farm-level. Machado et al., 2019, Nature Scientific Reports, Paploski et al., In prep

Research in this theme strives to understand and predict the epidemiological and ecological drivers of pathogen transmission in animal populations, utilizing spatial analytical approaches as well as mathematical modeling.

Environmental determinants underpinning the wave or emergence of lumpy skin disease virus in cattle in Eurasia. Machado et al., 2019.Transboundary & Emerging Diseases
Modeling workforce spread and containment of SARS-COV2 spread in processing plants. VanderWaal et al. In prep.

Primary Study Systems

Viral diseases of swine

PRRS, PED, FMD; Location: U.S.

Foot-and-mouth disease virus in endemic settings

Location: East African and South/Southeast Asia

Agro-ecological systems

Location: primarily Kenya

Pathogen Transmission Dynamics in Livestock Systems

Locations: Varying