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Developing Detection and Modeling Tools for the Geospatial and Environmental Epidemiology of Animal Disease


The Developing Detection and Modeling Tools for the Geospatial and Environmental Epidemiology of Animal Disease project is a collaborative agreement between Mississippi State University and the USDA-Agriculture Research Service (ARS). The primary objective of the project is to strengthen and enhance research focused on understanding how geospatial and computational models can help solve pressing epidemiological issues that can impact agriculturally important species, and human lives and livelihoods. Building on the synergies and capabilities of MSU and USDA-ARS, this project will focus on research aimed at improving prediction capabilities for new and emerging diseases, identifying mechanisms for outbreak prevention, and developing capabilities for detection. rapid response, and intervention when an outbreak occurs. This includes development of data pipelines and analytical approaches that can be adapted rapidly to new and emergent disease problems in the agricultural sector. Examples of the type of work that we are conducting through this project include:

  • Development of models that incorporate geospatial and temporal elements of climate and ecological systems to improve predictions of infection disease transmission and outbreaks.

  • Development of integrated disease transmission models that employ high-performance computing to simulate and predict emergence of new or adapted pathogens and enhance ability to prepare for and respond to disease outbreaks.

  • Development of molecular, phylogenetic, and metagenomic approaches that can characterize, predict, and map pathogen-host-environment interactions in new and emerging diseases, with emphasis on adaptation to new hosts and/or environments.

Project Investigators

Kristine O. Evans, PhD., Principle Investigator
Associate Professor, Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture
Associate Director, Geosystems Research Institute
Mississippi State University
Robert Moorhead, PhD., Co-Investigator
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Director, Geosystems Research Institute
Director, Northern Gulf Institute
Mississippi State University
Bindu Nanduri, PhD., Co-Investigator
Professor, Comparative Biomedical Sciences
College of Veterinary Medicine
Mississippi State University
David Smith, DVM, PhD., Co-Investigator
Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine
Associate Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine
Mississippi State University
Mahalingam Ramkumar, Ph.D., Co-Investigator
Associate Professor, Computer Science and Engineering
Mississippi State University
Jamie Larson, Ph.D., Co-Investigator
Assistant Director, Mississippi Agriculutral and Forestry Experiment Station
Mississippi State University


This work is supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA-ARS grant number: 58-6064-3-017.

Period of Performance

September 2023 – August 2028