Upcoming Public Lecture May 16: Climate Change, Mobility, and the Increasing Risk of Infectious Disease Outbreaks in Germany

On Tuesday, May 16, visitors to the public lecture “Climate Change, Mobility, and the Increasing Risk of Infectious Disease Outbreaks in Germany” will be treated to insights from five experts currently pioneering research into one of the greatest threats to Germany’s public health.

The event will occur in both German and English on the ground floor Mathematics Lecture Hall of Mathematikon A at the address Im Neuenheimer Feld 205 as well as online between 17:00 and 19:00. The event serves to introduce and raise awareness for the German launch of Mosquito Alert as a part of the IDAlert Project.

Below is a translation of the German press text released by hei_Innovation:

Just in time for the start of the tiger mosquito breeding season, Joacim Rocklöv’s group at Heidelberg University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR) is launching a case study looking at the spread of the tiger mosquito and associated threats of infectious diseases in the Rhine-Neckar region, inviting citizens of the region to participate via an app.

In a public lecture on May 16, 2023, an interdisciplinary panel of experts (Joacim Rocklöv, Institute for Global Health & IWR; Norbert Becker, Centre for Organismal Studies and ICYBAC; Carsten Wergin, Behavioral and Empirical Cultural Sciences; Till Bärnighausen, Institute for Global Health) will provide information on the impact of mobility and the environment on disease vectors such as mosquitoes. The speakers will talk about current research at Heidelberg University and its partner institutions, as well as present the app ‘Mosquito Alert’ and the associated citizen science project.

Pandemics such as COVID and infectious diseases such as dengue fever pose an increasing threat to communities around the world, due in part to climate change and international travel and trade. It is more important than ever that we as a society strive to develop proactive practices and requisite capacity to respond to emerging health threats.

Mosquito Alert is committed to identifying and monitoring spreading mosquito populations across Europe and is now launching a new case study for Heidelberg and the Rhine-Neckar region. Participating citizens can send photos directly to professional entomologists via the app to determine if invasive mosquito populations are spreading in their communities.

Joacim Rocklöv has been conducting research as a Humboldt Professor at Heidelberg University since 2022 and leads Germany’s first artificial intelligence (AI) laboratory specializing in the relationship between global diseases and climate change. With his research focus on using AI methods to re-understand the spread of infectious diseases and identify intervention options, Joacim Rocklöv aims to visualize the impact of climate and environmental changes on public health, develop predictive models as early warning systems, and identify intervention options for the spread of climate-sensitive diseases.

The talks on May 16 will explore the research frontier for this urgent and pressing issue. We hope to see you there!

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