How does a changing epidemic landscape impact people's perceptions of risk and their behavior? How might these changes impact disease dynamics? These questions are more complex than they seem because they involve endogenous, interacting elements in a system.
Ronan studies the interaction between the environment, infectious disease dynamics, and human behavior change. He utilizes techniques from geography and global health in empirical work on Ebola Virus Disease in Liberia. He also utilizes mathematical biology.and nonlinear dynamics tools to model these interacting complex systems.
Stephen Luby, Postdoctoral Research Mentor
Risk and Response to Biological Catastrophe in Lower Income Countries.
Current topics in microbiology and immunology
Natural and intentional biological risks threaten human civilization, both through direct human fatality as well as follow-on effects from a collapse of the just-in-time delivery system that provides food, energy and critical supplies to communities globally. Human beings have multiple innate cognitive biases that systematically impair careful consideration of these risks. Residents of low-income countries, especially those who live in rural areas and are less dependent upon global trade, may be the most resilient communities to catastrophic risks, but low-income countries also present a heightened risk for biological catastrophe. Hotspots for the emergence of new zoonotic diseases are predominantly located in low-income countries. Crowded, poorly supplied healthcare facilities in low-income countries provide an optimal environment for new pathogens to transmit to a next host and adapt for more efficient person-to-person transmission. Strategies to address these risks include overcoming our natural biases and recognizing the importance of these risks, avoiding an over-reliance on developing specific biological countermeasures, developing generalized social and behavioral responses and investing in resilience.
View details for DOI 10.1007/82_2019_162
View details for PubMedID 31127360
Contact structure, mobility, environmental impact and behaviour: the importance of social forces to infectious disease dynamics and disease ecology
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B
2016; 372 (1719)
View details for DOI 10.1098/rstb.2016.0454
- Understanding Tribal Fates SCIENCE 2011; 334 (6058): 911-912