Markus Neteler:  Tracking emerging diseases from space: Geoinformatics for human health

NetelerEuropean and other countries are at increasing risk for new or re-emerging vector-borne diseases. Among the top ten vector-borne diseases with greatest potential to affect European citizens are Dengue fever, Chikungunya, Hantavirus, and Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever. Despite the risk of disease transmission, many vectors like the Asian tiger mosquito or ticks are also a nuisance in daily life. The examination of disease vector spread and a better understanding of spatio-temporal patterns in disease transmission and diffusion is greatly facilitated by Geoinformatics. New methods including the use of high resolution time series from space in spatial models enable us to predict species invasion and survival, and to assess potential health risks. Geoinformatics is able to address the increasing challenge for human and veterinary public health not only in Europe, but across the globe, assisting decision makers and public health authorities to develop surveillance plans and vector control.

CV: Markus Neteler received his MSc degree and PhD in Physical Geography and Landscape Ecology from the University of Hannover (Germany). Since 2008 he works at Fondazione Edmund Mach (Trento, Italy), as the head of the GIS and Remote Sensing unit. His main research interests are remote sensing for environmental risk assessment, eco-health and Free Software GIS development.