Cary in the City: Barbara Han and CIES President Josh Ginsberg at the Greene Space in SoHo.

Mongabay:  Machine learning flags four bat species in India capable of hosting the deadly Nipah virus [ Photo credit: Rajib Islam ]

Mongabay: Machine learning flags four bat species in India capable of hosting the deadly Nipah virus
[Photo credit: Rajib Islam]

[by Michaeleen Doucleff, aired on All Things Considered]

Lab News


Oct 2019: Barbara will be speaking at the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space in NYC on using Artificial Intelligence to Predict and Preempt the Next Pandemic. Details here.

August 2019: Barbara travels to Dhaka, Bangladesh to work with Dr. Emily Gurley and other scientists at icddr,b working on predicting and preventing spillover infection of Nipah virus from fruit bats.

April 2019: The Han Lab begins a new collaboration with scientists at NASA Goddard Space Center to build a prototype early warning system for zoonotic diseases. This work is generously supported by the Lang-Assael Science Innovation Fund at the Cary Institute.

Feb 2019: Supported by the DARPA PREEMPT program, the Han Lab teams up with 10 institutions around the world in an ambitious project aimed to predict spillover of bat-borne henipaviruses.

Oct 2018: Barbara presents ongoing research at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Global Grand Challenges Meeting in Berlin.

Aug 2017: The Han Lab received an NSF EEID grant with collaborators at UGA (Drake, Schmidt) and NC A&T (O'Regan) that aims to understand global patterns, predictors, and the dynamical consequences of zoonotic disease in mammals. Machine learning meets mathematical modeling in mammals. NSF Press Release; Project Abstract


June 2017: Barbara weighs in on extrapolating the number of undiscovered mammal-borne viruses, and what drives spillover risk in an interview for NPR Goats and Soda.


May 2017: Barbara was honored to be invited as the graduate student nominated speaker for the Biology department seminar series at Fordham University. 


March 2017: Barbara participated in a WHO-Imperial College joint roundtable discussion on epidemic and pandemic modeling and forecasting, held in London. 


Vijay's manuscript on threat status underestimation by IUCN for the Western Ghats endemic birds was accepted by Biological Conservation.


February 2017: Barbara Han weighs in on NPR's coverage of viruses in a new month-long series for the Goats and Soda program.


Barbara gave invited talks at the Center of Infectious Disease Dynamics at Penn State University and the American Society of Microbiology Biothreats meeting in Washington, DC.


January 2017: A new paper on spatiotemporal fluctuations predicting Ebola virus spillover in Africa was accepted in Emerging Infectious Diseases. This work was led by JP Schmidt with collaborators at the University of Georgia. Check out the cool animated map (left)!


A new paper on Zika virus was also accepted for publication at eLife, led by graduate student Michelle Evans and collaborators at the University of Georgia. 


Big congrats to Vijay, who was accepted into a PhD program at Columbia University beginning this September 2017! 


Sarah, along with senior scientist Stuart Findlay, coordinated the Cary Institute's annual Fundamentals of Ecosystem Ecology (FEE) short course. 


December 2016: Sarah attended her Ph.D. hooding ceremony at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. Congratulations, Sarah!


October 2016: Barbara attended another great meeting of the NSF Research Coordination Network in Macroecology of Infectious Diseases at the University of Georgia.


September 2016:  Barbara gave an invited seminar at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, and has joined the adjunct graduate faculty in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources


Sarah gave an invited seminar at the International Congress of Entomology (ICE XXV) meeting in Orlando, Florida.


August 2016: Barbara gave a talk to a working group at the White House on pandemic prediction and forecasting.


Barbara, Sarah, and Vijay all gave talks at the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Barbara also gave a keynote at the annual research symposium for the Huyck Preserve in Rensselaerville, NY.


July 2016: Barbara spent a fantastic few days in Knoxville, TN at NIMBioS as a short term visitor to work with Dr. Suzanne O'Regan, thinking about how to more concretely connect comparative data mining with dynamical modeling in disease ecology.   


June 2016: The Han Lab welcomes new postdoc Sarah Bowden and new data manager Vijay Ramesh to the Cary Institute. Check out the People page for bios.


March 2016: The Han Lab received the great news that we have been selected for funding by the NSF Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEID) program! This 5-year project is led by Kurt Vandegrift (Penn State), and Barbara is joined by Co-PIs Rick Ostfeld (Cary), Peter Hudson (Penn State), and Amit Kapoor (Research Institute of the Nationwide Children's Hospital). More on this project coming soon.


March 2016: Barbara and Sarah attended the first meeting of the VectorBite RCN, led by Leah Johnson, Lauren Cator, Samraat Pawar, and Erin Mordecai. It was a fantastic first meeting, with many new projects simmering. Check out the VectorBite website for more info.


February 2016: Barbara gave a talk at the TTI/Vanguard conference held in Austin, TX, "Big Understanding", discussing how to glean insights to identifying new wild reservoirs of zoonotic diseases from "small" ecological data, using Ebola virus and bats as an example.


January 2016: Barbara gave a talk at a Gordon Research Conference ("Predator-Prey Interactions in a Human-Altered Landscape") held in Ventura, CA, discussing new work exploring macroecological patterns of zoonotic diseases in the Carnivora.


November 2015Will climate change lead to more disease?  Barbara discusses with Philippa Garson from IRIN.


September 2015: Barbara got to visit the Huyck Preserve for a screening of the Ordinary, Extraordinary Junco, an amazing science film featuring the work of Drs. Jonathan Atwell and Ellen Ketterson at Indiana University! Highly recommend both the Huyck Preserve and the film!


September 2015: Invited feature article on research in the Han Lab, online now at IEEE Spectrum magazine!


August 2015: Barbara gave an invited paper at the centennial meeting of the Ecological Society of America in the Macroecology of Infectious Diseases session. See abstract here!


August 2015: Barbara elected as the new Vice Chair for the Disease Ecology section of the Ecological Society of America.


August 2015: Congrats to the first two REU students from the Han Lab, Michelle Victoria and Catherine Kageman (co-advised by Dr. Shannon LaDeau)!


July 2015: Is biodiversity good for your health? A Science editorial by Drs. Felicia Keesing and Richard Ostfeld highlighting recent work by the Han lab and others suggests that the answer is yes.  PDF available here.


July 2015: Barbara participated in a joint meeting between RAPIDD and the Global Health Security Agenda.