Dr. Rob Deardon
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
University of Guelph
Title: "Modelling the spatio-temporal dynamics of infectious disease: the UK
2001 foot-and-mouth epidemic"
Foot-and-Mouth disease (FMD) entered the UK in the beginning of February 2001. By the time
it had been eradicated it had exerted terrible effects upon both the farming and tourism
industries of the UK. The control policies that were put in place by the UK government have been
the subject of much controversy, both at the time and since. Vital to ensuring that any future
out-break is controlled efficiently is that we have as full an understanding of the spatio-temporal
dynamics of the disease as possible.
To this end, I will present work undertaken to model these dynamics using a Bayesian MCMC approach
to parameterisation. Two areas of importance arise. One is the form of the model itself. Here we use
as our starting point the model of Keeling et al (2001) which has been extended to better capture the
characteristics of the epidemic. The second area of importance is how the model and MCMC updates
can be formulated in such a way that the computation time is not prohibitive.