Student NameDianela Perdomo
Faculty Mentor NameThomas Hladish
CollegeLiberal Arts and Sciences
MajorBiology
MinorHealth Disparities In Society
Research InterestsInfectious Diseases, Computer Modeling, Genetics
OrganizationsGainesville Community Paramedics, Global Connections, Habitat for Humanity
Hobbies and InterestsFishing, Cooking, Reading

Research Project

Imputation of Workplaces in Rural Yucatan

Models prove extremely useful in aiding our understanding of the spatial and temporal dynamics of diseases. Our present model for dengue in the Yucatan is very accurate in depicting the actual distribution of workplaces for many locations, however there is missing data for some rural parts of the state. To better understand rural dynamics and how they synchronize with urban areas, it’s important to have an accurate representation of workplace distribution, for these serve as main hubs of interaction, therefore affecting transmission. It is very possible that due to the underreporting of diseases in rural areas, the actual dengue burden in Mexico is greater than anticipated. The aim of this project is to evaluate how realistic the movement of people in rural areas is within the model, and to improve it to the extent possible given available data. Placing workplaces correctly across rural areas would render a more accurate model giving us a better representation of real world dynamics and enhancing our understanding of dengue occurrence. Ultimately, we want to investigate the role of rural transmission because we suspect not enough resources are allocated to addressing transmission in these areas, which may play a unique role in dengue’s persistence.