reported by Hans Heesterbeek, Centrum voor Biometrie Wageningen.
From 27 June to 10 July, Mick Roberts (AgResearch, New Zealand) visited Hans Heesterbeek. In the first week of the visit, he attended the conference Theory and Mathematics in Biology and Medicine, where he gave a lecture in the session on Nonlinear Population Dynamics. Since the session celebrated seven years of support from NWO as part of the priority programme, it was fitting that he should give a lecture since our collaboration over the last five years has been helped substantially by the financial contributions from the programme. We have written a number of papers over recent years and this would have been much harder, if not impossible, without the support which brought Mick to the Netherlands on two occasions. He gave a lecture on a joint paper titled A simple parasite model with complicated dynamics.
In the second week we worked in Wageningen on a new project. This concerns a metapopulation model for possums, that includes the dynamics of tuberculosis within the possum population. It is intended that the model can be used to address specific questions on possum and tb-control from the New Zealand government. During his stay we formulated the model, after lots of discarded versions, and did some preliminary analysis. Mick left at a stage where further work could be clearly divided between us for further work in the autumn.
During his visit, Mick also spend a day at the RIVM, discussing various questions and approaches to the modelling of non-infectious diseases (chronic diseases) with experts at that institute. A good basis for collaboration and exchange of results has been created at that meeting.