The UCSB brown-bag forum on spatial thinking Presents:
Kevin D. Lafferty, US Geological Survey
Marine Science Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara
Spatial and Temporal trends in global malaria: How do climate change and economics interact?
Ellison Hall 6824, 12:00 p.m. Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Abstract. Malaria is the most important infectious disease facing humans. Although it is largely a concern in tropical developing countries, a century ago its distribution extended well into upper latitudes presently occupied by developing countries. Because temperature and precipitation affect mosquito vectors and the plasmodium disease agent, transmission depends on climate. Projected climate changes may therefore alter where malaria will be a problem in the future. The discussion will briefly describe the ways that geographers have used spatial data to project future climate envelopes for infectious disease. It will then consider the relative importance of covariates that help explain a portion of the variation in transmission. By analogy, a paper by Kuhn (PNAS 2002) shows that wetland destruction and cattle farming do a better job explaining historical temporal variability in malaria in Britain than does climate variability. The main purpose of the discussion will be to pose the question of how to partition the effects of climate and economics on the spatial and temporal variation in malaria at the global scale. Knowing the relative roles of these factors would greatly help explain current patterns of transmission as well as identify future challenges and opportunities for diseases control.