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Exciting PhD opportunity on modelling the spread of African swine fever between domestic pigs and wild boar.

Expected dates: December 2019 – November 2022

African swine fever is a viral disease of swine for which there is no vaccine nor treatment. In 2014, the disease was detected in the European Union after having spread in the whole European part of the Russian Federation since its introduction in 2007. In September 2018, infected wild boar were detected in South Belgium just a few kilometres away from the French border, creating an unprecedented threat to the whole French pig industry. This PhD project aims at developing ASF transmission models incorporating domestic pig and wild boar populations and various transmission routes, including local direct and indirect contacts and commercial movements of pigs.

The objectives of the PhD project are as follows: 1) to identify biologic and anthropogenic determinants of ASF epidemics in Europe, 2) disentangle the role of wild boar and domestic pigs in the spatial spread of ASF in different European contexts, 3) to quantify the importance of inter-specific transmission events and 4) to anticipate a potential emergence of ASF in France by developing a modelling framework to support decision-making during a sanitary crisis.

The suitable candidate would ideally be a biologist (e.g. ecologist, veterinarian, or agronomist) with a master of science in bio-statistics, in applied mathematics or in epidemiology/ecology with proven quantitative analytical skills. A strong interest in programming (R, C++ or Python) as well as good English communication skills would be highly advantageous. An enthusiasm for infectious diseases, animal health and interdisciplinary work is desirable. Proficiency in French is not necessarily required.

The selected candidate will be employed by the National Veterinary School of Toulouse, France. He/she will join the EPIDEC team (epidemiology and economics of animal health) of the mixed research unit ENVT-INRA 1225 « Host-Pathogen Interactions ». In Toulouse, the PhD student will benefit from strong expertise in ASF as well as from the stimulating and dynamic environment of EPIDEC whose interests are located at the interface between epidemiology, modelling, sociology and economics. The selected candidate will also be working for the department of epidemiogy, animal health and welfare (EPISABE) of the Anses lab located in Ploufragan for a period of approximately one year over the course of the PhD. He/she will benefit from solid modelling expertise in animal infectious diseases and epidemiology. The selected candidate will also benefit from the national and international collaboration network that the supervisors have developed on the transmission of infection diseases.

Supervision: Dr. Nicolas Rose (EPISABE, Anses), Dr. Timothée Vergne (IHAP, ENVT) and Dr. Mathieu Andraud (EPISABE, Anses)

PhD position
National Veterinary School of Toulouse
Closing date
September 30th, 2019
Posted on
August 5th, 2019 08:24
Last updated
August 5th, 2019 08:24