Stephanie M Thomas

Stephanie M Thomas
University of Bayreuth · Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research (BayCEER)

PhD (Dr. rer. nat.), Geoecologist

About

59
Publications
16,679
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Introduction
My current research interest focuses on invasive disease vectors, mainly mosquitoes with tropical and subtropical origin. Thereby the spatial and temporal variability of distribution patterns of vector species and their associated diseases considering climate change and globalisation as major drivers is paramount. Risk analysis involves modelling techniques and experimental approaches. As ecologist I am especially interested in the interconnections between climate change, biodiversity and health.
Additional affiliations
November 2014 - present
University of Bayreuth
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (59)
Article
Full-text available
Environmentally suitable habitats of Aedes albopictus (Ae. albopictus) in Europe are identified by several modeling studies. However, it is noticeable that even after decades of invasion process in Europe, the vector mosquito has not yet been established in all its environmentally suitable areas. Natural barriers and human-mediated transport play a...
Chapter
Mapping disease risk assists in understanding disease epidemiology and illuminates details on spatial patterns of species involved in the disease transmission cycle. This chapter provides a conceptual framework for the ecological niche modeling (ENM) and epidemiological modeling (EM) to offer diverse applications for the two approaches in anticipat...
Article
Full-text available
Chikungunya virus disease (chikungunya) is a mosquito-borne infectious disease reported in at least 50 countries, mostly in the tropics. It has spread around the globe within the last two decades, with local outbreaks in Europe. The vector mosquito Aedes albopictus (Diptera, Culicidae) has already widely established itself in southern Europe and is...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Ecological niche models (ENMs) typically require point locations of species’ occurrence as input data. Where exact locations are not available, geographical centroids of the respective administrational spatial units (ASUs) are often used as a substitute. We investigated how the use of ASU centroids in ENMs affects model performance, what role t...
Article
Chikungunya virus disease (chikungunya) is a mosquito-borne infectious disease reported in at least 50 countries, mostly in the tropics. It has spread around the globe within the last two decades, with local outbreaks in Europe. The vector mosquito Aedes albopictus (Diptera, Culicidae) has already widely established itself in southern Europe and is...
Article
Full-text available
Epidemiological models (EMs) are widely used to predict the temporal outbreak risk of vector-borne diseases (VBDs). EMs typically use the basic reproduction number (R0), a threshold quantity, to indicate risk. To provide an overall view of the risk, these model outputs can be transformed into spatial risk maps, using various aggregation methods (e....
Article
ZUSAMMENFASSUNG In jüngster Zeit wurden verschiedene stechmückenübertragene Krankheiten erstmalig in Europa autochthon übertragen. Eine Kombination von Veränderungen greift hier ineinander. Zunächst wurden nicht heimische und sich invasiv ausbreitende kompetente Stechmücken (Insekten) nach Europa eingeschleppt. Außerdem nimmt die Reisetätigkeit kon...
Article
Mosquito-borne diseases are on the rise globally. Besides invasion processes and the increasing connectivity between distant regions through the trade of goods and human mobility, climate change is seen as an important driver for changing the likelihood of occurrence of vectors and diseases, respectively. Ectothermic insects respond directly to the...
Article
Full-text available
Background Usutu virus (USUV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus, reported in many countries of Africa and Europe, with an increasing spatial distribution and host range. Recent outbreaks leading to regional declines of European common blackbird (Turdus merula) populations and a rising number of human cases emphasize the need for increased awareness an...
Article
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a substantial cause of viral encephalitis, morbidity, and mortality in South-East Asia and the Western Pacific. World Health Organization recognized Japanese Encephalitis (JE) as a public health priority in demands to initiate active vaccination programs. Recently, the geographic distribution of JEV has apparent...
Article
Full-text available
The intensity and extent of transmission of arboviruses such as dengue, chikungunya, and Zika virus have increased markedly over the last decades. Autochthonous transmission of dengue and chikungunya by Aedes albopictus has been recorded in Southern Europe where the invasive mosquito was already established and viraemic travelers had imported the v...
Article
Full-text available
TrendsTalks: What does your research focus on? What is the current status of the diseases? Are there any pressing steps, in your opinion, should be taken to control mosquito-borne diseases? How can modelling best be leveraged to help control vector-borne diseases? What is the key message our readers should retain from your review? http://www.cell.c...
Article
Full-text available
Usutu virus (USUV) is an emerging mosquitoborne flavivirus with an increasing number of reports from several countries in Europe, where USUV infection has caused high avian mortality rates. However, 20 years after the first observed outbreak of USUV in Europe, there is still no reliable assessment of the large-scale impact of USUV outbreaks on bird...
Article
Full-text available
Vector-borne diseases are on the rise globally. As the consequences of climate change are becoming evident, climate-based models of disease risk are of growing importance. Here, we review the current state-of-the-art in both mechanistic and correlative disease modelling, the data driving these models, the vectors and diseases covered, and climate m...
Data
Additional information regarding the analysis of Usutu virus in Germany.
Article
Full-text available
The arrival and rapid spread of the mosquito-borne viral disease Chikungunya across the Americas is one of the most significant public health developments of recent years, preceding and mirroring the subsequent spread of Zika. Globalization in trade and travel can lead to the importation of these viruses, but climatic conditions strongly affect the...
Article
Full-text available
The Americas are presently experiencing the most serious known outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV). Here, we present a novel set of analyses using environmental characteristics, vector mosquito distributions, and socioeconomic risk factors to develop the first map to detail global ZIKV transmission risk in multiple dimensions based on ecological niche mo...
Article
Full-text available
The Americas are presently experiencing the most serious known outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV). Here, we present a novel set of analyses using environmental characteristics, vector mosquito distributions, and socioeconomic risk factors to develop the first map to detail global ZIKV transmission risk in multiple dimensions based on ecological niche mo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
(Please note: As this is a conference contribution, there is currently no full-text version available. The final results will be published in a separate paper.) Background: Following its introduction in Europe, Aedes albopictus has spread throughout many areas of the Mediterranean basin. In 2007, the mosquito mediated an outbreak of Chikungunya, w...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The interplay between global warming and invasive arthropods in temperate zones is of utmost interest in terms of the potential expansions of vector-borne diseases. During the last years, Aedes japonicus, an aedine vector mosquito native in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, southern China and Russia, was found in Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands. Here,...
Article
Full-text available
As a result of intensified globalization of international trade and of substantial travel activities, mosquito-borne exotic pathogens are becoming an increasing threat for Europe. In Germany some 50 different mosquito species are known, several of which have vector competence for pathogens. During the last few years a number of zoonotic arboviruses...
Article
Full-text available
Infolge der immer ausgeprägteren Globalisierung im internationalen Warenhandel und der hohen Reisetätigkeit der Bevölkerung gewinnen exotische Krankheitserreger, die durch Stechmücken übertragen werden, in Europa zunehmend an Bedeutung. In Deutschland kommen etwa 50 verschiedene Stechmückenarten vor, von denen etliche Vektorkompetenz für Pathogene...
Article
Full-text available
During the last decades the disease vector Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito) has rapidly spread around the globe. Global shipment of goods contributes to its permanent introduction. Invaded regions are facing novel and serious public health concerns, especially regarding the transmission of formerly non-endemic arboviruses such as dengue and...
Article
Full-text available
The Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, is capable of transmitting a broad range of viruses to humans. Since its introduction at the end of the 20th century, it has become well established in large parts of southern Europe. As future expansion as a result of climate change can be expected, determining the current and projected future climatic s...
Article
Full-text available
Leishmaniasis is caused by protozoa of the genus Leishmania and transmitted by sand flies from mammalian reservoirs to humans. In recent years, a northward spread of L. infantum from highly endemic Mediterranean countries into previously non-endemic Central European areas has been suspected based on presumed sporadic cases of autochthonous leishman...
Article
Full-text available
Chikungunya was, from the European perspective, considered to be a travel-related tropical mosquito-borne disease prior to the first European outbreak in Northern Italy in 2007. This was followed by cases of autochthonous transmission reported in South-eastern France in 2010. Both events occurred after the introduction, establishment and expansion...
Data
Summary of the data obtained from the literature. This table provides information about the different experimental studies, including study material used and methodological details. The duration until the first observed transmission or infection of SG at a given temperature is given for each study. (XLS)
Article
Full-text available
Dengue is generally believed to be one of the most hazardous vector-borne diseases, with over 40% of the world's population being at risk of an infection [1]. While in the past the disease has mainly been observed in the tropical regions, recent studies suggest that, under the pressure of future climate change, new areas even as far north as Europe...
Article
Full-text available
The occurrence of ectotherm disease vectors outside of their previous distribution area and the emergence of vector-borne diseases can be increasingly observed at a global scale and are accompanied by a growing number of studies which investigate the vast range of determining factors and their causal links. Consequently, a broad span of scientific...
Data
Full-text available
Leishmaniasis is caused by protozoa of the genus Leishmania and transmitted by sand flies from mammalian reservoirs to humans. In recent years, a northward spread of L. infantum from highly endemic Mediterranean countries into previously non-endemic Central European areas has been suspected based on presumed sporadic cases of autochthonous leishman...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The interplay between global warming and invasive arthropods in temperate zones is of utmost interest in terms of the potential expansions of vector-borne diseases. Up to now, investigations on the recent establishment of mosquito vectors have focused on temperatures during their phases of activity. However, cold temperatures may also...
Data
Surface air temperature at night in Europe on one of the coldest nights in winter 2011, which was one of the coldest winters of the last decade (2011-02-23; http://daac.gsfc.nasa.gov/giovanni, [45]). This map shows where the distribution limits of aedine species in Europe are to be expected due to their minimum survival temperature of eggs. In the...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is thought to assist spreading vector-borne diseases. During the last years, ecological niche modelling has been increasingly applied to predict the current distribution of disease vectors and their potential responses to climate change. However, sandflies and their transmitted diseases are only scarcely investigated via niche modell...
Data
Current and projected climatic suitability for five Phlebotomus species. Values of climatic suitability range theoretically from 0 (unfavourable conditions) to 1 (perfect conditions). Projections refer to the B1 scenario. (TIF)
Data
Least-cost paths for Phlebotomus species. The detected pathways indicate direction of spread in the 21st century. Spatio-temporal varying climatic suitability and wind speed included in the cost surface that must be crossed by species in the 21st century refer to the B1 scenario. (TIF)
Article
Full-text available
Background In the Old World, sandfly species of the genus Phlebotomus are known vectors of Leishmania, Bartonella and several viruses. Recent sandfly catches and autochthonous cases of leishmaniasis hint on spreading tendencies of the vectors towards Central Europe. However, studies addressing potential future distribution of sandflies in the light...
Article
During the last decades the disease vector Aedes albopictus (Ae. albopictus) has rapidly spread around the globe. The spread of this species raises serious public health concerns. Here, we model the present distribution and the future climatic suitability of Europe for this vector in the face of climate change. In order to achieve the most realisti...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract: Summary: During the last decades dengue incidences are emerging significantly around the globe. Currently, about one fifth of the human population lives in dengue risk zones, which are mainly located in (sub-) tropical regions of Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific. Dengue infections in European population mainly referred to returning...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is expected to manifest in the shift of organisms to regions where they were not present in the past, potentially entailing previously unseen biological risks. However, studies evaluating these future trends are scarce. Here, an important group of vectors (sandflies) and the pathogen transmitted (Leishmania infantum complex) causing...
Article
Full-text available
The most dangerous infectious diseases occur in tropical or subtropical regions. Climate change, however, will be associated with the spread of vector-borne diseases to higher latitudes. Here, the resulting bio-risks for Europe are presented in more detail. Knowledge on suitable future habitat for disease vectors in Europe is scarce. Here, one appr...
Article
Full-text available
In temperate regions of the world direct effects of global warming are considered to be less severe compared to the tropics and subtropics or to the arctic regions respectively. However, warming could here coincide with a spread of tropical diseases. Diseases such as West Nile fever, Dengue fever and Leishmaniasis are dependent on insects especiall...
Article
Full-text available
Global warming is directly impacting human health. For example, extreme weather events (such as heat waves) are reaching new dimensions. In addition to such direct meteorologically induced stress situations, organisms can respond to shifts in climatic conditions in a variety of ways (e.g. activity, phenology, reproduction, productivity, pollen prod...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
I am interested in experiences gained from field work, especially in temperate zones or further literature references.

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
As a result of climate change, mosquito-borne viral diseases are penetrating ever further into Europe. DiMoc is investigating how this trend is influenced and even controlled by biological diversity within the respective chains of infection. The research work focuses on the biodiversity of viruses, vectors, and infected organisms. DiMoc is a partnership of the University of Bayreuth, Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg, the Institute for Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, the Institute for Development Research in Montpellier, and the National Autonomous University of Mexico. It is funded by the BiodivERsA network, which promotes pan-European research on biodiversity and ecosystem services.