My research, mainly the PhD, aims to first quantify the impacts of floods and tropical storms on infectious diseases (especially those that are vector-borne) and to potentially establish lag-times between the events and the diseases. Eventually, we aim to create a model which would be able to predict the spread of relevant diseases in vulnerable coastal communities.
Which question do you think is scientifically most exciting?
I am really interested in what are the relevant factors contributing to the vulnerability to the spread of certain diseases in the aftermath of hydro-metereological disasters. I am also fascinated by the fact that the spread of said diseases can, potentially, be predicted before the event happens and turns into a disaster, thus helping resource-prioritization.
How do you think the results can be used in society?
Creating a model that could successfully predict the spread of a disease, would potentially enable us to better direct the scarce resources into prevention and during the response of epidemics, thus saving resources and lives. My PhD serves only as a starting ground with a limited amount of diseases and locations, but hopefully in the future this knowledge could be used to build better models which would encompass a more diseases and locations, making disaster response more accurate.