MIDAS Webinar: Ticks and fire: Modeling the effects of prescribed fire on tick-borne disease

January 28, 2022


January 28, 2022


The MIDAS Webinar Series features research by MIDAS members, and is open to the public. 

Date: Friday, January 28th, 2022
Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm Eastern (USA)

Topic: Ticks and fire: Modeling the effects of prescribed fire on tick-borne disease

Speaker: Dr. Folashade Agusto

Tick-borne illnesses are trending upward and are an increasing source of risks to people’s health in the United States. Thus, it is imperative to find a practical way of managing tick populations. Prescribed burns are a common form of land management, it can be cost efficient if properly managed and can be applied across large amounts of land. In this seminar, I will present a spatial stage-structured tick-host model with impulsive differential equations to investigate the effect of prescribed fire intensity, and the duration between burns on tick population and disease prevalence. Results indicate that fire intensity has a larger impact in reducing tick population than frequency between burns. Furthermore, burning at high intensity is preferable to burning at low intensity whenever possible. Exploring the use of prescribed burns in preventing the establishment of ticks into new areas shows that fewer burns are ineffective at preventing their establishment because ticks can recover relatively quickly following a burn, but frequent, long-term prescribed burns can slow and possibly prevent their establishment.  

PhD. in Mathematics, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
MSc. in Mathematics, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
PhD. Computer Science, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
B.Tech. in Mathematics, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology  Ogbomosho, Nigeria

I am a trained applied mathematician based in the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas; my work focuses on designing novel models to gain insight about emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases of public health importance and how to mitigate the risks they pose to human health.

My lab addresses the following questions:
 i) what are simple sustainable management strategies necessary to mitigate the risk from infectious diseases?
ii) what are the effects of human behavior on disease spread and risk?
iii) what are the evolutionary implications of host/pathogen interactions?

I have designed and analyzed novel models for diseases like Ebola, avian influenza, bovine tuberculosis, Johnes disease, toxplasmagondii, Chikungunya, and malaria. My current works are on modeling tick-borne disease across the great plain, and understanding the role of human behavior on the transmission of COVID-19.


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