Ottar Bjornstad

Huck Chair of Epidemiology; Distinguished Professor of Entomology and Biology; Adjunct Professor in Statistics

Ottar Bjornstad

Research Summary

Population ecology and population dynamics with particular emphasis on mathematical and computational aspects

Huck Graduate Students

Huck Affiliations


Publication Tags

Influenza Population Dynamics Immunity Vaccines Temperature Epidemics Infection Human Influenza Incidence Humidity Pandemics Communicable Diseases Decision Making Whooping Cough Geography Culicidae Anopheles Pandemic Synchrony Coronavirus Malaria Measles City Population Disease Outbreaks

Most Recent Papers

Strategic testing approaches for targeted disease monitoring can be used to inform pandemic decision-making

James D. Nichols, Tiffany L. Bogich, Emily Howerton, Ottar N. Bjørnstad, Rebecca K. Borchering, Matthew Ferrari, Murali Haran, Christopher Jewell, Kim M. Pepin, William J.M. Probert, Juliet R.C. Pulliam, Michael C. Runge, Michael Tildesley, Cecile Viboud, Katriona Shea, 2021, PLoS Biology

Vaccinating children against SARS-CoV-2

Jennie S. Lavine, Ottar Bjornstad, Rustom Antia, 2021, The BMJ

Author Correction

Ottar N. Bjørnstad, Katriona Shea, Martin Krzywinski, Naomi S. Altman, 2021, Nature Methods on p. 321

Immunological characteristics govern the transition of COVID-19 to endemicity

Jennie S. Lavine, Ottar N. Bjornstad, Rustom Antia, 2021, Science

Oviposition response of the biocontrol agent Rhinocyllus conicus to resource distribution in its invasive host, Carduus nutans

Zeynep Sezen, Ottar N. Bjørnstad, Katriona Shea, 2021, Biological Control

Outbreaking forest insect drives phase synchrony among sympatric folivores

Andrew M. Liebhold, Christer Björkman, Alain Roques, Ottar N. Bjørnstad, Maartje J. Klapwijk, 2020, Population Ecology on p. 372-384

The duration of travel impacts the spatial dynamics of infectious diseases

John R. Giles, Elisabeth zu Erbach-Schoenberg, Andrew J. Tatem, Lauren Gardner, Ottar N. Bjørnstad, C. J.E. Metcalf, Amy Wesolowski, 2020, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America on p. 22572-22579

Peste des petits ruminants Virus Transmission Scaling and Husbandry Practices That Contribute to Increased Transmission Risk

Catherine M. Herzog, William A. de Glanville, Brian J. Willett, Isabella M. Cattadori, Vivek Kapur, Peter J. Hudson, Joram Buza, Emmanuel S. Swai, Sarah Cleaveland, Ottar N. Bjørnstad, 2020, Viruses

A competing-risks model explains hierarchical spatial coupling of measles epidemics en route to national elimination

Max S.Y. Lau, Alexander D. Becker, Hannah M. Korevaar, Quentin Caudron, Darren J. Shaw, C. Jessica E. Metcalf, Ottar N. Bjørnstad, Bryan T. Grenfell, 2020, Nature Ecology and Evolution on p. 934-939

Population serology for SARS-CoV-2 is essential to regional and global preparedness

Huaiyu Tian, Ottar N. Bjornstad, 2020, The Lancet Microbe on p. e94

Most-Cited Papers

An investigation of transmission control measures during the first 50 days of the COVID-19 epidemic in China

Huaiyu Tian, Yonghong Liu, Yidan Li, Chieh Hsi Wu, Bin Chen, Moritz U.G. Kraemer, Bingying Li, Jun Cai, Bo Xu, Qiqi Yang, Ben Wang, Peng Yang, Yujun Cui, Yimeng Song, Pai Zheng, Quanyi Wang, Ottar N. Bjornstad, Ruifu Yang, Bryan T. Grenfell, Oliver G. Pybus, Christopher Dye, 2020, Science on p. 638-642

The effect of temperature on Anopheles mosquito population dynamics and the potential for malaria transmission

Lindsay M. Beck-Johnson, William A. Nelson, Krijn P. Paaijmans, Andrew F. Read, Matthew B. Thomas, Ottar N. Bjørnstad, 2013, PLoS One

Urbanization and humidity shape the intensity of influenza epidemics in U.S. cities

Benjamin D. Dalziel, Stephen Kissler, Julia R. Gog, Cecile Viboud, Ottar N. Bjørnstad, C. Jessica E. Metcalf, Bryan T. Grenfell, 2018, Science on p. 75-79

Natural immune boosting in pertussis dynamics and the potential for long-term vaccine failure

Jennie S. Lavine, Aaron A. King, Ottar N. Bjørnstad, 2011, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America on p. 7259-7264

Spatial Transmission of 2009 Pandemic Influenza in the US

Julia R. Gog, Sébastien Ballesteros, Cécile Viboud, Lone Simonsen, Ottar N. Bjornstad, Jeffrey Shaman, Dennis L. Chao, Farid Khan, Bryan T. Grenfell, 2014, PLoS Computational Biology

Human mobility and the spatial transmission of influenza in the United States

Vivek Charu, Scott Zeger, Julia Gog, Ottar N. Bjørnstad, Stephen Kissler, Lone Simonsen, Bryan T. Grenfell, Cécile Viboud, 2017, PLoS Computational Biology

The geography of spatial synchrony

Jonathan A. Walter, Lawrence W. Sheppard, Thomas L. Anderson, Jude H. Kastens, Ottar N. Bjørnstad, Andrew M. Liebhold, Daniel C. Reuman, 2017, Ecology Letters on p. 801-814

Recurrent insect outbreaks caused by temperature-driven changes in system stability

William A. Nelson, Ottar N. Bjørnstad, Takehiko Yamanaka, 2013, Science on p. 796-799

Quantifying seasonal population fluxes driving rubella transmission dynamics using mobile phone data

Amy Wesolowski, C. J.E. Metcalf, Nathan Eagle, Janeth Kombich, Bryan T. Grenfell, Ottar N. Bjørnstad, Justin Lessler, Andrew J. Tatem, Caroline O. Buckee, 2015, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America on p. 11114-11119

Short-lived immunity against pertussis, age-specific routes of transmission, and the utility of a teenage booster vaccine

Jennie S. Lavine, Ottar N. Bjørnstad, Birgitte Freiesleben de Blasio, Jann Storsaeter, 2012, Vaccine on p. 544-551

News Articles Featuring Ottar Bjornstad

Will COVID-19 become a mostly childhood disease?

Within the next few years, as the SARS-CoV-2 virus becomes endemic in the global population, COVID-19 may behave like other common-cold coronaviruses, affecting mostly young children who have not yet been vaccinated or exposed to the virus, according to new modeling results. Because COVID-19 severity is generally lower among children, the overall burden from this disease is expected to decline.

Kids may eventually be more at risk of contracting COVID-19 than adults, study finds

Researchers say young children will become more susceptible to the virus over time

Ottar Bjørnstad elected to Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters

Ottar N. Bjørnstad, distinguished professor of entomology and biology and J. Lloyd & Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair of Epidemiology at Penn State, has been elected to the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters. Bjørnstad was recommended as a result of his significant contributions to the fields of population ecology and quantitative epidemiology.

Another common cold virus?

If it becomes endemic — circulating in the general population — and most people are exposed in childhood, SARS-CoV-2 may join the ranks of mild cold-causing coronaviruses that currently circulate in humans.

Coronavirus updates: COVID-19 reduces US life expectancy; Biden introduces spending plan; Pope Francis gets Pfizer vaccine

USA TODAY is keeping track of the news surrounding COVID-19 as a pair of vaccines join the U.S. fight against a virus that has killed nearly 385,000 Americans since the first reported fatality in February.

Two Great Valley professors awarded seed grants for COVID-19 research

Despite being limited to virtual interactions and meetings, Penn State Great Valley faculty continue to conduct innovative research. Ashkan Negahban, assistant professor of engineering management, and Satish Srinivasan, assistant professor of information science, were awarded seed grants to fund projects to help address the COVID-19 crisis.

Coronavirus: How CDC Lab Contamination, And A Failure To Cooperate Globally, Led To Catastrophe

By the time the WHO chief made the above remarks, it had been almost two months since the US had identified its first case of COVID-19, the illness caused by novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

Efforts to control livestock disease should focus on management style, not age

The risk of transmitting the virus PPRV, which produces a highly infectious and often fatal disease in sheep and goats, does not appear to vary significantly by an animal’s age, unlike its sibling virus measles, which is most prominent in children.

China’s control measures may have prevented 700,000 COVID-19 cases

China’s control measures during the first 50 days of the COVID-19 epidemic may have delayed the spread of the virus to cities outside of Wuhan by several days and, by interrupting transmission nationwide, prevented more than 700,000 infections across the country, according to an international team of researchers.

The Virus Buried in a 100-Year-Old Lung

Scientists have managed to sequence the genome of a measles virus that infected a 2-year-old girl who died in 1912.