I tag-teamed with my dean, the Academy‘s Chief Scientist, Dr. Shannon Bennett last night to give a couple of presentations for NightLife’s “NightSchool” series. Shannon is a virologist who specializes in emergent zoonotic diseases. These are shorter talks, and mine has an update of the past week of work on our CASES (Complex Adaptive Socio-Economic Systems) project. Here’s the summary from the NightSchool crew:
“What does the COVID-19 pandemic look like through the lens of scientists who study viruses and evolutionary ecology? Join Dr. Shannon Bennett, virologist and the Academy’s Chief of Science, and Dr. Peter Roopnarine, Curator of Geology and Paleontology, for a fascinating dive into the past—and the future?—of our current pandemic.
Set off on an evolutionary journey of the virus behind it all, SARS-CoV2, with Dr. Bennett as your guide. She’ll talk about its origins and where it’s going, and also bust a few myths, expand on what scientists and society are most concerned about today, and what you can do about it.
Can fossils help us understand the impact of epidemics on the economy? Dr. Roopnarine, who creates models of complex food webs that existed millions of years ago, will talk about the complex systems that dominate our lives today and what happens when ecosystems, epidemics, and economies collide. He’ll explore why ecosystems rise and fall and the lessons learned there, and apply them to present-day economies and the current work being done to understand the dynamic impact of COVID-19 on these systems.”