Our faculty are on Yukon’s COVID-19 modelling team

Sara and Lisa

Math can be used to protect us from COVID-19. If Yukoners didn’t wear masks during an outbreak, what would happen? What if we didn’t social distance? Models provide information to predict outcomes and help decision-makers to make informed decisions.  

YukonU instructors, Dr. Sara McPhee-Knowles and Dr. Lisa Kanary, are partnering with the Government of Yukon’s COVID-19 modelling team. They meet weekly with Canada’s external modeling experts group through the Public Health Agency of Canada. Sara has a PhD in public policy; her dissertation focused on modeling the effects of different inspection systems on food borne illnesses. Lisa’s PhD in applied mathematics’ dissertation centered on developing ecological models for invasive species dynamics.  

Sara and Lisa joined forces in May and have recently developed a research project to create and adapt disease models for northern communities. They believe that traditional modeling approaches could be refined to better reflect the realities of smaller communities. This research project will take place over the next two years if research funding is approved. Thanks to YukonU's Scholarly Activity Grant, Sara will write the preliminary findings this term on the early model analysis.  

Photo caption: Dr. McPhee-Knowles (L) and Dr. Lisa Kanary, pre-COVID-19.