November 3 Webinar

Heather Battles, The University of Auckland, will present the next PANSOC webinar: “A historical syndemic? Measles and scarlet fever in goldfields-era Victoria” on November 3 at 1600 Oslo time (remember our clocks “fall back” on October 30!). Contact jessicad@oslomet.no for a link.

How do we identify a historical syndemic? In Roberts & Battles (2021), we identified a series of synchronous epidemics of measles and scarlet fever in Victoria, Australia between 1853 to 1876, suggesting a synergistic relationship. We explored this synergy, its emergence, and ending in the context of the 1850s-70s gold-mining boom and post-boom changes in fertility, mortality, and housing infrastructure, pointing to the importance of social conditions in disease evolution. This talk will build on this and discuss work-in-progress on the use of a quantitative method to test for presence of a syndemic effect. 

Heather Battles (PhD 2013, McMaster University) is a Lecturer in Biological Anthropology at The University of Auckland in Aotearoa New Zealand. Her research interests centre on applying a biocultural approach to understanding the evolution and ecology of infectious diseases in human populations and their impacts (biological and social). She specializes in historical epidemics and emerging and re-emerging infections.

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