Modelling spatial and demographic heterogeneity of malaria transmission risk

Modelling spatial and demographic heterogeneity of malaria transmission risk

Project details

After 15 years of decreases in overall burden, malaria transmission has now become highly heterogeneous in space (with areas of high transmission surrounded by vast areas of little or no transmission) and/or restricted to specific high-risk groups such migrants, forest workers or miners. If elimination is to be achieved, it will essential to be able to accurately identify and map such high-risk areas / populations and understand the key processes driving this heterogeneity.

As part of this PhD you will apply advanced statistical methods to extensive longitudinal and cross-sectional dataset (incl. epidemiological, genetic and immunological variables) from Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Thailand and Brazil investigate key factors that contribute to these differences and develop novel metrics to quantify heterogeneity. Integrating this knowledge into mathematical malaria transmission models (White et al 2018), you will explore how current and novel intervention can be used to target transmission ‘hotspots’. Requires strong numerical abilities.

About our research group

The Mueller laboratory leads field- and laboratory-based studies in malaria-affected regions of Asia, the Pacific and South America. We have a wide range of expertise in epidemiology, biostatistics, mathematical modelling, bioinformatics, genetics, genomics (NGS), population genetics and immunology. We work closely with other groups in Melbourne, interstate and overseas including field researchers in malaria-endemic countries. In the areas of malaria epidemiology modelling we collaborate closely with groups at Univ. of Melbourne, Institut Pasteur (Paris) and Imperial Collage (London). Our ultimate goal is to contribute to malaria elimination programs.


Email supervisors



Professor Ivo Mueller

Professor Ivo Mueller
Joint Division Head

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