The emergence of new diseases and drug resistance in established pathogens threatens human health. Understanding why, where and when this happens is a job for a geographer.
As a health geographer I integrate information on pathogens, people and places to explore patterns of viral evolution and drug resistance and investigate the processes that produce these patterns.
Why the picture of pigs? The impact of changing diets and food production on human health is one of my research and teaching interests. These are pigs on a small farm on the outskirts of a Chinese city of 2million people. They are raised alongside ducks with no biosecurity, the perfect ecology for avian influenza to mutate and jump into people.