Welcome to the lab for Modeling and Theory in Ecology and Epidemiology

We study the complexity underlying the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases.

Our work relies on a variety of extensive data sets, from long time series of disease incidence that span decades, to large ecological networks, to molecular (sequence) data on pathogens. The disease work involves international collaborations with public health and research partners around the world. On the theoretical front, we use mathematical models together with computational and statistical approaches to bridge the gap between data and models.

Our research

Our research addresses the Ecology and Evolution of infectious diseases. 

Host-pathogen systems are paradigmatic and fascinating examples of complex adaptive systems. They combine the challenges of nonlinear dynamics, large number of interactions between diverse components, and changing conditions because of evolution or environmental changes. Questions on how to model these systems and at what scales, how to make inferences from large but incomplete data sets, how to predict and alter the course of their dynamics, are central at this time of increased contact between natural and built-in environments, increased human movement, and rapid environmental changes. Our work relies on a variety of extensive data sets, from long time series of disease incidence that span decades, to large ecological networks, to molecular (sequence) data on pathogens. The disease work involves international collaborations with public health and research partners around the world. On the theoretical front, we use mathematical models together with computational and statistical approaches to bridge the gap between data and models.

See more at out RESEARCH and PUBLICATIONS sections.

New paper on thresholds for antigenic diversity for falciparum malaria transmission at high endemicity published in PLOS Computational Biology

Qixin and Mercedes' new paper deriving a threshold for antigenic diversity for falciparum malaria transmission in regions where malaria is highly endemic was recently published in PLOS Computational Biology. In regions where falciparum malaria is highly endemic, the...

New COVID-19 paper published in PNAS

Rahul, Qixin, and Mercedes' new paper on the transmission dynamics of COVID-19 during the initial invasion in New York City from March-June 2020 was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Using a mathematical model which was fit to...

Our lab is going to EEID 2019!

Between 10-13 of June our lab is going to present several research projects at the Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases conference in Princeton. Shai will give a talk on "“The dynamic and non-neutral genetic strain structure of Plasmodium falciparum with...

A new paper investigates the link between the abundance of mosquitoes and the density of humans in models for vector-borne infections

In a new paper, Victoria Romero-Aznar, a postdoc in the lab, Mercedes, and french colleagues Richard Paul (Pasteur Inst.) and Olivier Telle (CNRS; CNS, Delhi),  examine the neglected and poorly understood link between the abundance of mosquitoes and the density of...

Mercedes and Shai will teach the course Networks in Ecology and Evolution

This quarter, Mercedes and Shai will teach their course on Networks in Ecology and Evolution for the second time. This unique course is an introduction to the varied topics within the sub-discipline of Network Ecology, including network structure, dynamics, models of...