Position opportunity PhD position in epidemiology France – Canada Thesis in epidemiological modeling Title : Study of the re-emergence mechanisms of West Nile virus in southern Quebec, Canada Project summary: Context: West Nile virus was isolated for the first time in Eastern Africa in 1937 and, since then, it has spread worldwide, in particular, reaching North America in 1999. The virus has been found circulating in southern France (Camargue) since the 1950’s and in Québec since 2002. In both regions, sporadic epidemic activities have been observed: typically, the virus is active for a couple of years and then seems to disappear for some time before re-emerging in subsequent years. The numerous scientific studies conducted on these characteristics in Camargue since the 1960’s have not been able to identify precisely the determinants responsible for such an epidemic behavior. Up to date, two principal scenarios seem to be plausible for explaining the sporadic activity of the virus: importation of the virus by migratory birds follow by local amplification; and low level local virus circulation during inter-epidemic periods with an occasional re-emergence due to particularly favorable conditions for virus amplification. Objective: The main objective of this work is to explore the different plausible scenarios explaining the particular epidemic activity of West Nile virus in southern Quebec, using a modeling and simulation approach. Methods: The research question will be explored using a mathematical modeling approach applied to West Nile virus epidemiology. Most of the data for model development and calibration are already available, either through former field studies or in the literature. Additional field studies may be necessary to complement model calibration and perform model validation. Duration: 3 years (Starting date : September 2015) Candidate’s profile: Diploma: Veterinary school, Engineering School, Doctor of Medicine, Faculty of science or Bachelor Degree in Science (Medicine, Biology, Ecology, Environmental Science, Mathematics) Master’s Degree in Epidemiology, Modeling and/or Ecology Abilities: Good scientific writing and communication skills Good knowledge in statistics and capacity to use some statistical (R, SAS, STATA) or geomatics (ArcView, Qgis) softwares Programming capacity in modeling (R, Matlab) Good knowledge in epidemiology, population dynamics and vectorial diseases Skills: Reliable and rigorous
Knowledge synthesis and data analysis Ability to work as part of a team spirit and good interpersonal skills Spirit of initiative Fluent in either English or French French or Canadian citizenship is not a pre-requisite. Application: Provide the following documents in an email to the researchers in charge of the project: - Curriculum Vitae (2 pages max.) - Cover letter - Copy of university transcripts (undergraduate and graduate) - Reference letter and contact information from at least two individuals Application deadline: May 1st, 2015 Interviews and selection process: from mid-June to end of June 2015 Candidature start date: September 2015 Researchers in charge of the project: The PhD thesis will be conducted in co-supervision between Canada (University of Montréal – Faculty of Veterinary Medicine -St Hyacinthe (QC)) and France (Université Joseph Fourier – Grenoble) French supervisor:
Dominique J. Bicout, PhD, HDR Physicist, Research scientist
Antoinette Ludwig, DVM, PhD Veterinary Epidemiologist, Ass. Prof.
Institut Max von Laue - Paul Langevin Theory Group 71 Avenue des Martyrs - CS 20156 38042 Grenoble Cedex 9 - France Phone: +33 (0) 476 207 228 Mobile:+33 (0) 673 267 496
Public Health Agency of Canada 3200 Sicotte, C.P. 5000 St Hyacinthe (QC) J2S 7C6 CANADA Phone: +001(450) 773 8521 ext 0115 FAX : +001(450) 778 8129
Email : [email protected]
Email : [email protected]