10th Annual Workshop and Conference
at the University of Michigan
10th Annual Workshop and Conference at the University of Michigan

Workshops on Modeling and Data Analysis

Sponsored by the Colorado State University Department of Biology with funding provided by the National Science Foundation

The 2012 Workshops on Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases will be held at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor May 19–22, 2012.

These workshops will precede the annual Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases Meeting also being held at The University of Michigan on May 23–24, 2012.

Workshops are designed to provide graduate students, post-doctoral researchers and other researchers with skills for modeling and analysis of ecological and evolutionary processes affecting infectious disease dynamics. Emphasis is on analyses using the program R.

Separate workshops, offered in parallel, are designed to focus on either Ecology or Evolution of infectious diseases.

This year's workshop will follow the same format as previous years' workshops held at the University of California–Santa Barbara, Cornell University, the University of Georgia, Colorado State University, and Pennsylvania State University.

For graduate students and post-docs who are US citizens or resident aliens, scholarships funded by the National Science Foundation are available that cover the $500 workshop fee and up to $500 in travel support. Funding will be provided to individuals to attend each of the workshops (Ecology and Evolution) once. Those who attended one workshop previously are encouraged to apply for the other this year.


Ecology of infectious disease workshop curriculum

This workshop emphasizes mathematical models of disease ecology, statistical inference, the interrogation of data sets, and exploration of spatial and temporal patterns.

Specific goals:

  1. To provide participants with skills for exploring infectious disease data using models.
  2. To develop frameworks for observational or experimental studies to test hypotheses.

A key to success of the workshop is assess the interests and abilities of participant before the workshop and organize groups of 4–5 participants that include individuals with complementary data and skills. This will be accomplished by a questionnaire sent to registrants several weeks before the workshop, then organizing them into groups of five, matched by the

  • types of data they have
  • skills the students possess (programming in C++, Matlab, S-plus and R)
  • general areas of interest expressed by the students (in organisms, e.g. vertebrates, invertebrates, plants; areas of analysis, e.g. time series analysis, deterministic or stochastic models, spatial models)

In addition, we will provide standards for data files (computer-ready form: comma or tab delimited ASCII (CSV) preferable).

Evolutionary biology of infectious disease workshop curriculum

This workshop will provide students with an understanding of relevant concepts in addition to practical phylogenetic and population genetic tools they can apply in their own research. The workshop will be particularly suitable for infectious disease ecologists interested in pathogen evolution and emergence, and for researchers in public health and the biomedical fields interested in how pathogens evolve both within hosts/patients (e.g. HIV), host immunogenetics, and how interventions (antimicrobial drugs, vaccinations) affect the evolution of pathogens. Specific goals include:

  1. To familiarize participants with analysis of host and pathogen genetics and phylogenetics, and relate these to identifying reservoir populations, detecting natural selection, and evaluating recombination and reassortment in pathogens.
  2. To provide practical training in experimental design and hypothesis testing frameworks that can be applied to the participants' genetic data, or to data sets collected from databases like GENBANK.

Again, a key to success will be to determine students' interests and abilities before the workshop. A questionnaire sent to registrants several weeks before the workshop will aid in organizing complementary groups of 4–5 participants, matched by

  • types of data to share
  • skills (knowledge of genetics, familiarity with phylogenetic and population genetic software
  • general areas of interest (organisms: e.g. viruses, bacteria, or fungi; areas of analysis: e.g. relationships between emerging pathogens and wild reservoirs, host-specific selection).

Register for the conference

Traveling to the meeting

EEID Conference Map

  Photos courtesy of Gail Kuhnlein