Emily Ryan
Biodiversity Institute

‘Mapping a Virus’ panel will demonstrate modeling and translation of data into policy

Mon, 04/27/2020

LAWRENCE — There is no shortage of graphs that predict the behavior of COVID-19 and, consequently, guide human actions. But, how do researchers create a model of a virus? And how does a model inform public policy?

The Commons, Biodiversity Institute and Institute for Policy & Social Research will present a live crossdisciplinary panel discussion, “Mapping a Virus: From Understanding a Species to Writing Policy on COVID-19.” Five video presentations are online for viewing before the event, and a moderated discussion is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 28.

The presentations and event feature the work of:

  • A. Townsend Peterson, KU Biodiversity Institute / Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
  • Folashade Agusto, KU Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
  • Jorge Soberón, KU Biodiversity Institute / Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
  • Donna Ginther, KU Institute for Policy & Social Research / Economics

The video presentations address the following topics:

  • What is a coronavirus?
  • How do scientists map a virus?
  • How does scientific research become policy?
  • How is policy written for a population?

The live event will feature more in-depth exploration of the overlaps between areas of research as well as questions submitted by audiences online.

Questions can be tweeted @TheCommonsKU, @KU_IPSR and @KUNHM. Additionally, questions can be submitted in the chat during the live event.

Register here for the Live Q&A Event.

The National Science Foundation has awarded funding support to Folashade Agusto and A. Townsend Peterson for further research on this work.

For assistance, please contact


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