Start Date: Jan 31, 2010
End Date: Jan 30, 2015
The primary focus of this work will be on several generic aspects of epidemiological models: (a) identification and examination of existing models and datasets as case studies; (b) analysis of models to examine dynamics of disease spread, parameter estimation, and contact network structure in models of interest; (c) analysis of statistics of extreme events and first passage times in models of interest; (d) development of a flexible toolkit for implementing spatio-temporal models for national-scale outbreaks of agriculturally-related infectious diseases; (e) applications to fungal diseases of plants capable of rapid dispersal over long distances. Related issues arise in essentially all models for FAD epidemics on a national scale. The USDA and DHS, in collaboration with researchers at Cornell University, are currently working together closely to address these problems. Within USDA and Cornell, this performance site is uniquely qualified to provide expertise in statistical physics, dynamical systems, applied mathematics, computational science, and close cooperation with subject matter experts in plant diseases. In addition, there are well-established relationships across a range of technical and scientific disciplines relevant to the project. The performer has already established a working relationship with DHS S&T and USDA-APHIS, as well as other DHS S&T performers (e.g., RAPPID). Since award of this IAA on 21 January 2010, the Ithaca group has established a highly productive working relationship with several RAPIDD Working Groups. In addition, the group is now collaborating with researchers at Cornell (Ithaca, NY) and Cambridge (Cambridge, UK). The Ithaca group has been developing methods that exploit land use and related geographic and remote sensing data into spatial models of disease outbreaks. This is a unique and time critical opportunity for the DHS S&T FAD Modeling Program. Existing funding will be used to support two students, two full time senior scientific staff members and two postdoctoral researchers. These positions will all be supported for the remainder of this IAA (through Jan. 2014).