Disputation: Fabienne Krauer

PhD candidate Fabienne Krauer at the Department of Biosciences will be defending the thesis "Temperature, toponyms and thresholds. A modelling approach to understanding the spread of plague during the second pandemic" for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor.

Profile picture of Fabienne Krauer

Fabienne Krauer

The disputation will be live streamed using Zoom. The host of the session will moderate the technicalities while the chair of the defence will moderate the disputation.

Ex auditorio questions: The chair of the defence will invite the audience to ask ex auditorio questions either written or oral. This can be requested by clicking "Participants" followed by clicking "Raise hand". 

To participate in this defence please click this link (opens 1.15 pm, March 17th 2021)

The meeting opens for participation just before 1.15 PM, and closes for new participants approximately 15 minutes after the defense has begun.

Trial lecture 

Reflection on the question whether plague could ever be eradicated and what would be needed for that

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Main research findings

Plague is a disease of rodents and is transmitted through their fleas. Humans are only occasionally infected. Direct human-to-human transmission through droplets happens rarely. The low plague activity in humans nowadays contrasts the millions of casualties during the second pandemic (14th-18th century), and the circumstances of historical outbreaks are poorly understood.

In her PhD thesis, Fabienne Krauer has studied drivers and mechanisms that could explain the spread of plague during the second pandemic in Europe and the Mediterranean. Krauer first shows that historical outbreaks followed a distinct seasonal pattern and occurred within a specific temperature range. Krauer then models the temperature-dependent seasonality of the human flea as a potential plague vector, and shows that the flea seasonality correlated with the observed plague seasonality. Moreover, Krauer explores the contribution of pneumonic transmission in addition to human flea transmission with a mathematical model. Her results confirm that the life cycle of the human flea could explain the seasonality of historical outbreaks. Finally, Krauer studies the performance of natural language processing to facilitate the digitization of plague data and presents two novel, geocoded datasets of plague outbreaks in Eurasia. Overall, this thesis provides insight into the complex relationship of vectors, climate and disease.

Department of Biosciences

Published Mar. 3, 2021 9:58 AM - Last modified Sep. 14, 2021 11:25 AM