Partner 42 – University of Utrecht (FVM)
FVM, Utrecht, Netherlands. The chair of Theoretical Epidemiology in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine consists of one associate professor, three assistant professors, two postdocs and five PhD students. The group is closely related to a chair of veterinary epidemiology of infectious diseases of equal size. The theoretical epidemiology group broadly works on population dynamics of infectious diseases, and has three types of activity: the development of new mathematical and statistical methods, using quantitative methods to study questions in the dynamics and control of infectious disease in humans and wildlife, and applying mathematical models to obtain insight into transmission and control of animal infections. The group is focussed on mechanistic, i.e. process- based, modelling, trying to understand population phenomena by describing biological processes at the level of individuals. The group has a long history in mathematical epidemiology. Notably the theory to define and calculate the basic reproduction ratio R0 has been developed over many years. The next-generation method is used today as the standard way to compute R0 in epidemic models. A textbook on the mathematical epidemiology of infectious diseases was published in 2000 (Diekmann & Heesterbeek), which has quickly become a well-known reference in the epidemiology modelling literature (a new expanded edition will be available soon). Recent themes of activity are linking immune system dynamics to the transmission of infection between individuals in a population, the dynamics of infections in metapopulations of hosts (notably in wildlife populations), and the emergence of vector-borne infections in heterogeneous environments.