Dr. rer. nat. Y. Cheng (Yanchao)

Assistant Professor

About Me

I am Yanchao, an ecologist who is interested in disease risk mapping. My general goal is to model when and where a certain infectious disease is of high outbreak risk, especially for vector-borne diseases. I use both epidemiological (e.g. the SEIR model, estimation of R0) and ecological models to understand disease transmissions. I invest my effort to compare model outputs and improve model performance.

I studied biosciences and ecology for my B.Sc and M.Sc degrees, and got my Doctoral degree (Dr. rer. Nat.) on biogeography. Throughout the years, I have worked with very different subjects, ranging from Amur tigers to mosquito-borne diseases, and for a short time I was working with PRRS transmission between farms. I have spent quite a lot of time in the field tracking tigers’ footprints, but also plenty of time sitting in front of computer writing codes. The one clue piecing everything together is modelling  all models are wrong, some are useful. 


Rasmussen, P., Shaw, A. P., Jemberu, W. T., Knight-Jones, T., Conrady, B., Apenteng, O. O. , Cheng, Y., Muñoz, V., Rushton, J., & Torgerson, P. R. (2023). Economic losses due to foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Ethiopian cattle. Social Science Research Network (SSRN). https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4547171
Zhang, GG., Li, BY., Raghwani, J., Vrancken, B., Jia, R., Hill, SC., Fournie, G. , Cheng, Y., Yang, QQ., Wang, YX., Wang, ZM., Dong, L., Pybus, OG., & Tian, HY. (2023). Bidirectional movement of emerging H5N8 avian influenza viruses between Europe and Asia via migratory birds since early 2020. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 40(2). https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msad019
Samy, A. M., Yáñez-Arenas, C., Jaeschke, A. , Cheng, Y., & Thomas, S. (2022). Modeling Distributional Potential of Infectious Diseases. In Geospatial Technology for Human Well-Being and Health Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-71377-5_18
Cheng, Y. (2021). Assessing spatio-temporal risks of vector-borne diseases: an interdisciplinary view integrating ecological and epidemiological models. [PhD Thesis - Research external, graduation external, Universitat Bayreuth]. University of Bayreuth.

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Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation
Langezijds (building no. 19), room 1209
Hallenweg 8
7522NH  Enschede
The Netherlands

Mailing Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation
Langezijds  1209
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands