Knowledge TransferCitizen Science project introduces itself in public lecture

4 May 2023
published by hei_INNOVATION

Just in time for the start of the tiger mosquito breeding season, a group led by Prof. Dr. Joacim Rocklöv at Heidelberg University's Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR) is launching a case study looking at the spread of the tiger mosquito and associated threats of infectious diseases in the Rhine-Neckar region. The study invites citizens of the region to participate via an app. A panel of experts will present the project with its citizen science component in a public lecture on May 16.

Mosquito Alert App

Pandemics like COVID and infectious diseases like dengue fever pose an increasing threat to communities around the world, due in part to climate change and international travel and trade. Against this backdrop, it is more important than ever to develop proactive practices and capacity to respond to emerging health threats.

In this public lecture on May 16, 2023, at 5 pm at Hörsaal der Mathematik at Mathematikon,  an interdisciplinary panel of experts will provide information on the impact of mobility and the environment on disease vectors such as mosquitoes. The speakers will talk about their current research at Heidelberg University, present their current case study, the app 'Mosquito Alert' and the related citizen science project. The panel includes Prof. Dr. Joacim Rocklöv from the Institute for Global Health & IWR, Dr. Norbert Becker from the Centre for Organismal Studies (COS), Prof. Dr. Carsten Wergin from the Faculty of Behavioral and Empirical Cultural Sciences,  Prof. Dr. Alexander Zipf from the Institute of Geography and& Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology (HeiGIT), and Prof. Dr. Till Bärnighausen from the Institute for Global Health.

The app 'Mosquito Alert' is committed to identifying and monitoring spreading mosquito populations across Europe. As part of the new case study for Heidelberg and the Rhine-Neckar region, to which the university's transfer agency, hei_INNOVATION, also contributed significantly as a networker and communicator, interested citizens are invited to participate. They can send photos directly to professional entomologists via the app to determine if invasive mosquito populations are spreading in their communities.

Joacim Rocklöv has been conducting research as a Humboldt Professor at Heidelberg University since 2022 and heads Germany's first artificial intelligence (AI) laboratory, which focuses on the connection between global diseases and climate change. With his research focus on using AI methods to re-understand the spread of infectious diseases and identify intervention options, Joacim Rocklöv aims to visualize the impact of climate and environmental changes on public health, develop predictive models as early warning systems, and identify intervention options for the spread of climate-sensitive diseases. Prof. Rocklöv's interdisciplinary research is based at the Heidelberg Institute of Global Health (HIGH) at the Heidelberg Medical Faculty and also forms a bridge to the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR).

The transfer agency hei_INNOVATION stands for knowledge and technology transfer from university research results to society and is the central point of contact for supporting and implementing transfer activities at Heidelberg University. hei_INNOVATION offers services for all members of the university and supports them in implementing their ideas, projects and spin-offs in the field of knowledge and technology transfer.