One Health Modelling Network for Emerging Infections launches new lecture series

Featured illustration of the novel coronavirus
Karine Chalvet-Monfray

The lecture, which was delivered over Zoom, was well attended with participants tuning in from universities and institutions from Canada, United States, France, UK, China, Japan and other countries.

Chalvet-Monfray, a veterinarian and professor of statistics and epidemiology at VetAgro Sup in Lyon, France, delivered a presentation titled, “Reflections on Modelling for Infectious Diseases in the Framework of a One Health Approach.” The bilingual event was moderated in English and French by OMNI-RÉUNIS Co-Director Hélène Carabin, a professor in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and School of Public Health at the Université of Montréal. Two special guests gave compelling opening addresses to launch the series, they were Alejandro Adem, president of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and York Vice-President Research and Innovation Amir Asif. The link to the archive of Chalvet-Monfray’s lecture is now available and can be viewed here.

“NSERC is proud to support the mathematicians who have been such valuable partners in Canada’s contributions to COVID-19 research,” said Adem. “The work being conducted within these networks, by mathematic scientists, epidemiologists and statisticians around the world will help public health leaders and organizations understand where and when infectious diseases may emerge and the best methods to protect the health of Canadians.”

In his remarks, Asif said, “Given that we are still in a COVID environment, though the future is looking bright, this Distinguished Lecture Series has taken an added dimension. Modelling emerging infectious diseases with a particular emphasis on a One Health approach is vital in my view for the well-being of this society.”

Huaiping Zhu
Huaiping Zhu

The OMNI-RÉUNIS Distinguished Lectures Series is vital in the One Health modelling space because the network’s goal is to highlight the relevance and importance of the various fields and disciplines working to advance research in modelling emerging infectious diseases. The key to the One Health approach to research is its focus on experts using multidisciplinary knowledge about the connections between environmental, animal and human health, which is used to identify pathogens early.

The network is led by Professor Huaiping Zhu in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in the Faculty of Science and the York Research Chair in Applied Mathematics and co-led by Carabin and University of Alberta Professor Mark Lewis. Zhu is also the director of the Centre for Disease Modelling (CDM) and the Laboratory for Mathematical Parallel Systems at York University. The network is hosted at the CDM at York. The lecture series is organized by Zhu, Carabin and Lewis.

More about OMNI-RÉUNIS

In 2021, OMNI-RÉUNIS was awarded $2.5 million of federal funding to be part of the broader Emerging Infectious Diseases Modelling Initiative (EIDM) along with four other networks. The initiative, which was established between NSERC and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), aims to establish multi-disciplinary, national networks of specialists in modelling infectious diseases with expertise applied to public needs associated with emerging infectious diseases and pandemics such as COVID-19. OMNI-RÉUNIS consists of more than 100 researchers and collaborators from key academic and government institutions, with an extensive network of international associates. Expertise ranges from public health, infectious diseases and epidemiology human health, animal and wildlife health, as well as climate-related health outcomes.

OMNI-RÉUNIS will run the Distinguished Lecture Series for the rest of the year, host a One Health Workshop in the spring and launch its Highly Qualified Personnel training activities this summer. As OMNI-RÉUNIS continues to grow, new collaborations are encouraged.

To learn more, visit For questions about OMNI-RÉUNIS or how to engage with the network, email or contact Natasha Ketter, program manager of OMNI-RÉUNIS at