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Physics Colloquium - Friday, April 17th, 2009, 4:00 P.M.

E300 Math/Science Center; Refreshments at 3:30 P.M. in Room E200

Lance Waller
Department of Biostatistics
Rollins School of Public Health
Emory University

Spatial Statistics in Disease Ecology: Patterns and Processes in Landscape Epidemiology

Inferring process from pattern is a long-standing goal in landscape ecology and epidemiology, but is limited by data availability and parameter identifiability. We will review a broad conceptual framework for the analysis of data associated with the spread of disease in time and space, illustrating a continuum of perspectives ranging from ecology to public health surveillance and identify areas needing further development. Using this framework, we explore expanded roles for statistical techniques in mathematical models of the spread of raccoon rabies in the northeastern United States, focusing on assessments of fit for mathematical models of disease dynamics and exploration of the phylogeography of pathogens in wildlife populations.