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Geospatial Forum (Lecture) with Dr. Verónica Andreo (CONICET and the Gulich Institute – Argentina)

April 13 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Environmental Drivers of Vector-borne and Zoonotic Diseases: Leveraging Remote Sensing in Public Health

Summary: Vector-borne and zoonotic diseases are responsible for one-sixth of disease and disability worldwide. Their distribution and spread is highly dependent on the environment. In the face of the environmental changes brought about by the Earth-system crisis, remote sensing has gained renewed relevance for public health applications. For example, time series of remotely sensed variables can be used to understand the spatio-temporal conditions that favor mosquito populations and may pose a high risk of West Nile Fever outbreaks. In this talk, Dr. Andreo will show how she use remote sensing data of different spatial and temporal resolutions to predict the risk of diseases such as hantavirus, dengue and leishmaniasis, to allocate sensors for mosquito sampling, and to quantify access to health care, among others. She will also discuss various limitations, challenges, and future directions in the use of remote sensing for operational early warning systems and applications to support timely decision making in the field of Public Health. Spoiler alert! GRASS GIS is one of the main characters in this journey.

About the speaker: Dr. Verónica Andreo is a biologist and holds a PhD in Biological Sciences and an MSc in Remote Sensing and GIS applications. She is a researcher for CONICET and a lecturer at Gulich Institute – Argentinian Space Agency (CONAE) in Córdoba, Argentina. Her research focuses on uncovering environmental drivers of vector-borne disease outbreaks. She is most interested in those environmental features that can be derived by means of satellite image analysis, remote sensing time series and GIS-based techniques.

Dr. Andreo is part of the GRASS GIS Development team and is chair of the GRASS GIS Project Steering Committee. She is a strong advocate for OSGeo and free and open source software for geo-spatial (FOSS4G). Among other things, she has served as Program Committee chair for FOSS4G 2021 and volunteered as a mentor for GRASS GIS in the Google Code-In contest introducing high school students into the Open Source world.


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