Call for applications for Visiting Researcher Program

Centre for Research on Pandemics & Society (PANSOC)

PANSOC welcomes applications from advanced PhD students and post-PhD academics at all career stages for a short visit to Oslo during the 2022-2023 academic year.

Visiting researchers will be expected to give one public talk on their research and one internal talk (for example, a methods workshop or discussion of current or future work). Visitors will also have the opportunity to discuss potential collaborations and proposals with PANSOC-affiliated researchers.

We encourage applications from researchers in all fields of social sciences and humanities with interests in the social aspects of historical, current, and future pandemics. We are particularly interested in topics such as:

  • Disparities in disease outcomes or impacts of public health measures based on socioeconomic and other inequalities.
  • Syndemic interactions with non-communicable diseases and chronic health conditions.
  • Relationships between infectious disease epidemics and other crises such as wars or extreme climate events.

The visiting researcher program will cover transportation costs to Oslo and hotel accommodations for one week.

Please send a CV and cover letter with a short description (1-2 pages) of your research interests and objectives for a visit to Oslo, as well as anticipated timing or availability for travel, to Svenn-Erik Mamelund (


PANSOC-affiliated students submitted their theses

Here they are: these PANSOC affiliated researchers all submitted their masters theses this week on pandemic topics. Congrats, we are so proud of you!

Kan være et bilde av 3 personer, folk som står og innendørs

Picture shows from left to right, Carla Hughes, Lara Steinmetz and Christina Torjussen, at a conference in Bergen fall of 2021.

Jessica Dimka invited to ERC interview

PANSOC has received excellent news this Friday: co-leader Jessica Dimka has passed step 1 and has been invited to interview for an ERC Starting Grant. Her proposed project, EpiDynamics, focuses on interactions and feedback between seasonal infectious diseases and chronic health conditions in order to understand health, demographic, and ultimately evolutionary changes in human populations over time.

New paper out: Indigenous peoples & Pandemics

Photo: Orphans after the “Spanish” flu pandemic in Nushagak, Alaska, summer of 1919. Source: Alaska Historical Library

In this new paper in Scandinavian Journal of Public health, titled Indigenous peoples and pandemics – Daniele E. Alves, Svenn-Erik Mamelund, Jessica Dimka, Lone Simonsen, Mathias Mølbak, Søren Ørskov, Lisa Sattenspiel, Lianne Tripp, Andrew Noymer, Gerardo Chowell-Puente, Sushma Dahal, Taylor P. Van Doren, Amanda Wissler, Courtney Heffernan, Kirsty Renfree Short, Heather Battles, Michael G. Baker, 2022 (, we have done a review of the literature on Indigenous vs. non-Indigenous disparities in mortality during the 1918 and 2009 influenza pandemics as well as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The paper concludes that there there were large disparities in mortality in 1918 and in 2009. However, there are simply not enough high quality data, which makes it difficult to investigate whether Indigenous peoples have a larger COVID-19 mortality risk than non-Indigenous persons.

This paper is the first of several collaborative papers that will come out of the 2022-2023 CAS-project titled Social Science Meets Biology: Indigenous People and Severe Influenza Outcomes – CAS and led by PANSOC leader Mamelund

Next webinar (12 May, 1600 CET)

Carolyn Orbann, University of Missouri, will present “Co-circulating respiratory diseases at the end of the 1918 influenza pandemic.”

The 2020-2021 flu season was among the lowest on record, largely due to the wide circulation of COVID-19 and the measures in place for pandemic control. In this talk, I will present evidence on a variety of respiratory diseases circulating in the US state of Missouri during the 1918 flu pandemic. We will discuss how mortality rates from diseases that typically cause predictable mortality were impacted by the influenza pandemic and how we might understand those changes using a syndemic framework.

Carolyn Orbann is Associate Teaching Professor of Health Sciences at the University of Missouri – Columbia. Her current research interests include infectious disease in historic human populations and the impact of culture on disease spread. She uses historic data, including primary and secondary sources, to understand epidemics in the past, primarily 1918 flu and diseases of colonization in 18th century California. She uses computer simulation models to test ideas about the impact of human culture on infectious disease dynamics. 

Contact for a Zoom link.