GPCE Seminar Series: Uncertainty and the management of outbreaks: harnessing the power of multiple models

Global Pervasive Computational Epidemiology Seminar Series

Date/time: Thursday, August 25, 11:30am – 12:30pm Eastern (USA)

Topic: Uncertainty and the management of outbreaks: harnessing the power of multiple models

Speaker: Katriona Shea

Zoom link:

Abstract: During outbreaks of weeds, pests and infectious diseases, uncertainty hinders our ability to forecast dynamics, and to make critical decisions about management. In particular, disparate epidemiological projections from different modeling groups, arising from different scientific descriptions of the underlying biological and management processes, may hamper intervention planning and response by policy makers. Drawing on methods from expert elicitation and judgment, we can harness the expertise of multiple modeling groups in a decision theoretic framework. Case studies of several diseases illustrate how to gain a better idea of expected outcomes, and the risk of particularly problematic consequences. This approach allows policy makers to focus on what matters most as they make critical decisions.


Speaker Bio:  Katriona Shea is Professor of Ecology and the Alumni Professor in the Biological Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University. She received her BA (Hons) in Physics from Oxford in 1990 and her PhD in theoretical population ecology from Silwood Park, Imperial College, London University in 1994. Following postdoctoral positions in California and Australia, she joined the faculty at Penn State in 2001.

Professor Shea uses a wide range of empirical and quantitative methods to study the ecology and management of invasive and outbreaking species in perturbed environments, with a particular focus on the role of uncertainty.

Professor Shea is an elected Fellow of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

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