A University of Tennessee professor will discuss the effects of COVID-19 on ecology and evolution during an online presentation on Tuesday.
Nina Fefferman will be the speaker at the League of Women Voters event. Fefferman is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Department of Mathematics at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
Fefferman is the associate director of UT’s One Health Initiative, and she is a member of the Covid-19 Outbreak Response Experts (CORE-19) at UT.
The principle investigator at the Fefferman Lab at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville since 2008, Fefferman focuses on disease in the human population and how disease and disease-related behavioral ecology can affect the short-term survival and long-term evolutionary success of a population during and after a pandemic, a press release said. She has done extensive work with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on pandemic preparedness and has drawn on her expertise to develop models to shape policy to keep populations safe during and after pandemics.
Fascinated by science from an early age, Fefferman audited chemistry classes at Princeton University while still in middle school. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Princeton in 1999, a master’s degree in math from Rutgers in 2001, and a doctorate in biology from Tufts in 2004, with a thesis on using mathematical models in evolutionary biology and epidemiology, the press release said.
She then began teaching at Rutgers University before becoming principal investigator at the Fefferman Lab, where she works on issues of how individual behaviors can impact whole populations. Her interests run the gamut from investigating how honeybees communicate about foraging for resources to how public health strategies can better combat epidemics.
“During this time when we are all focused on how best to navigate the challenges of COVID-19, Fefferman’s expertise should prove invaluable,” the press release said.
Lunch with the League welcomes League members and non-members alike to this informative presentation, the release said. For instruction on linking to the live presentation, contact [email protected]. Anyone not familiar with Zoom meetings should go to https://support.zoom.us and then scroll down to frequently asked questions.
A couple of days after the presentation, you may view the recorded presentation on the League’s website (https://my.lwv.org/tennessee/oak-ridge).
The League of Women Voters of Oak Ridge is a nonpartisan political organization for men and women. It encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.