- Visiting Assistant Professor
Jessica Dimka is a biological anthropologist whose research focuses on the role of social relationships and behaviors in the spread of infectious disease epidemics. Through analysis of archival, historical and ethnographic data, she explores individual- to system-level factors involved in disease outbreaks. She is particularly interested in understanding differential outcomes between subgroups of a population, for example how age and gender roles influence disease experiences. She also uses agent-based simulation models to investigate the impacts of specific variables and behaviors. Recent research projects have looked at the 1918 influenza pandemic in Newfoundland and Labrador, and waterborne diseases in Ecuador. Her next project will consider disability as a risk factor during epidemics. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2015.