Infectious Diseases in a Changing Climate

written on 06/08/2020
by Jutta Thielen-del Pozo

How a mosquito bite in French Polynesia may cause an epidemic in Europe

Processes of global environmental change have impacts on human health. Climatic factors affect the dynamics of infectious diseases relying on vectors such as mosquitoes and ticks for transmission.

Climatic factors influence vector-borne disease ecology changing the geographic and seasonal distribution, and the intensity of vector-borne pathogen transmission, hence modifying the probability of epidemics.

To understand the effects of complex climate variability on interactions between vector, pathogen and host all of them embedded into a social and economic system that co-determines health risks and outcomes is a tremendous challenge.

Prof. Dr. Nikolaos I. Stilianakis received his MSc in Mathematics from the RWTH Aachen University (DE) and his PhD in Biomathematics from the University of Tübingen (DE). He was a postdoctoral research fellow at the department of Theoretical Biology, University of Utrecht (NL) and at the Theoretical Biology Group, Theoretical Division, at Los Alamos National Laboratory (USA).

He is currently a senior researcher at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission and associate Professor of Epidemiology and Biomathematics at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (DE). His research interests are the mathematical theory of infectious diseases, environmental health, theoretical immunology/viral dynamics, medical decision making, and communication of risk and scientific uncertainty.