I am currently a mathematician working within the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM) at James Cook University (JCU) modelling the spread of infectious diseases. Prior to my appointment at AITHM, I received my PhD from the School of Engineering at JCU. My doctoral research in theoretical astrophysics and cosmology focused on the outstanding problem of the nature of dark matter and dark energy and their density in alternative cosmological models.

Recently I have moved into mathematical biology and epidemiology and my research now focusses on the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of multi-strain (e.g. drug-resistant) systems. Combining analytical and numerical methods, I am trying to determine not only the underlying dynamics driving the emergence and diversification of drug-resistant pathogen strains and the competition between them, but equally to identify the most effective and economical intervention strategies.

  • PH1005: Advanced Stream Physics 1 (Level 1; TSV)
  • Mathematical Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases
  • Mathematical Biology
  • Mathematical Ecology
  • Cosmology
  • 2018 to present - Research Fellow, AITHM, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2016 to 2017 - Postdoctoral Research Fellow, AITHM, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2015 - Associate Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2013 to 2015 - Casual Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Department of Health - Education and Research Grant

Modelling future testing needs for SARS-CoV-2

Indicative Funding
$42,770 (administered by University of Melbourne)
The Project will enable greater understanding of the current and projected future testing demand for severe acute respiratory acute syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) in Australia. The scope of this project is limited to assessing the demand for laboratory based, or near patient point-of-care, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, the gold standard test to diagnose COVID-19.
Jodie McVernon, James McCaw, Emma McBryde, Michael Meehan and Adeshina Adekunle (The University of Melbourne and Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
COVID-19; Modelling; SARS-CoV-2; Coronavirus

National Health & Medical Research Council - Centres of Research Excellence

Developing phylodynamic models of bacterial evolution to investigate the tuberculosis (TB) outbreak in Daru, Papua New Guinee

Indicative Funding
Australia's nearest neighbour, Papua New Guinea (PNG), is listed by the WHO as one of 30 high TB-burden countries, and Daru Island, off the southern coast of PNG, has been identified as a major TB hotspot. Given the immediate and porous border between Daru and Far-North Queensland (FNQ), cross-border transmission of drug-resistance tuberculosis into mainland Australia is a major public health concern. Here we use phylodynamic models (i.e mathematical models of infectious disease transmission supplemented with genetic data) to investigate the scale and severity of TB transmission in Daru and prevent similar outbreaks among FNQ communities.
Michael Meehan in collaboration with Emma McBryde, Eike Steinig, Sebastian Duchene and Steven Tong (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine and The University of Melbourne)
Tuberculosis; Phylodynamics; Infectious Diseases; Asia-Pacific; Evolutionary Biology; Mathemetical biology

Advisory Accreditation:

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Using mathematical models to develop TB control strategies in Bangladesh (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • To develop a mathematic formula that will compare current and past pathology results to predict wrong blood in tube (WBIT). (Masters , Primary Advisor)
  • Control of Seasonal Dengue Viral Infections of Different Serotypes and Different Age Classes (PhD , Secondary Advisor)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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