Ecologist’s Work on COVID-19 Classroom Spread Makes Headlines

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Prof. Madhur Anand

Prof. Madhur Anand

Research involving Prof. Madhur Anand, School of Environmental Sciences, on the role of large class sizes in COVID-19 spread in schools has received widespread media attention.

The study, co-authored with researchers at the University of Waterloo, used mathematical modelling to examine how the virus could spread at primary schools in Ontario and within students’ homes. The team found that every time a classroom doubled in size in their models, the number of cases and the days of classroom closure tripled, quadrupled or even quintupled.

The study has not yet been peer-reviewed but has been submitted for publication.

Anand, who is the director of the Global Ecological Change and Sustainability lab at U of G, applied knowledge and tools from theoretical ecology and climate change-human behaviour modelling to study the potential spread of COVID-19.

The research was featured in the National Post, the Toronto Star, Global News, CBC News and other outlets.

Anand has worked with colleagues at UW’s Department of Mathematics to develop mathematical models for assessing the role of social learning in climate predictions and for estimating the efficacy of pest management and forest sustainability strategies.

She is also a poet and author of the new memoir This Red Line Goes Straight to Your Heart.