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.