Evaluation of the impact of the increasing geographical dispersion of vector species of pathogenic agents in Public Health. The growing global mobility associated with social vulnerability and extreme climate changes and phenomena are significantly altering the distribution of disease vector species (eg Aedes spp; Argasidae, Ixodidae, etc). On a global scale, the transport network of people and goods allows for a growing emergence of vectors from other parts of the globe. At a regional and local scale, factors such as climate change, typologies of land use, human demography and spatial connectivity between locations, mediate the establishment of species and dictate the geography of human vulnerability to diseases transmitted by them (eg Malaria, Dengue, Yellow Fever, Lyme, Chikungunya, Zika, etc.)
This study will use Earth Observation data in the predictive mapping of 1) “hot spots” for the emergence and establishment of vector species in the Atlantic region, and 2) human vulnerability to vector-borne diseases. This mapping should consider future climate projections and expected trends for human population dynamics. The results obtained will allow health professionals, decision makers and general public to ensure adequate surveillance policies, capable and cost-effective responses enabling the timely implementation of measures that could prevent or mitigate the establishment of emerging vector species or the occurrence of disease outbreaks.
AIR Centre PhD grants are aimed at applicants enrolled or that comply with the requirements to enrol for PhD related studies and who wish to carry out research towards this degree. Candidates with a degree in Geography, Environmental Sciences, Biology, Health Sciences, and related areas may apply. Previous experience in Geographic Information Systems and in editing and processing data in spreadsheets are preferred criteria.
Summary of work plan
The candidate will closely collaborate with the supervisor(s) in the development of a thesis plan, within a three-year time horizon, that should fit in the context of the scholarship announced here and in the scientific priorities and research objectives of the AIR Centre and the participating institutions ( IGOT, CES and Fiocruz).
Name(s) of supervisor(s)
César Capinha, Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning (IGOT)
Carla A. Sousa, Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (IHMT)
Name(s) of hosting institution(s)
The research will be conducted at Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (IHMT), Universidade Nova de Lisboa, in close cooperation with the Center for Social Studies (CES), University of Coimbra, the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), in Brazil, and the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning (IGOT), University of Lisbon.
Identification of PhD program
PhD Program in Biomedical Sciences, specialty in Parasitology offered by the University Nova de Lisboa.
Please check PhD program’s website for application deadlines here.
José Luís Zêzere (Chairman), Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning (IGOT), Portugal
Jordi Figuerola, Estación Biológica de Doñana, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Spain
Luis Reino, CIBIO/InBIO, Universidade do Porto, Portugal, Portugal
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