Janey Messina is an expert in the geography of human health, with a particular interest in mapping the risk and spread of infectious diseases. Human disturbances such as deforestation, cultivation, irrigation, animal husbandry, migration, transportation and trade result in the creation and/or modification of the environmental conditions and exposure patterns that result in spatial patterns of disease. Janey’s research considers how these population, behavioural, and environmental factors interact to contribute to specific disease and overall health outcomes at a variety of scales (from local to global).
Janey has a BA in Geography from the University of California, Los Angeles, an MS in Geography from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a PhD in Geography from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her doctoral research focused on the geography and epidemiology of HIV, malaria, and anaemia in the Democratic Republic of Congo. At UNC, Janey was also an NSF IGERT fellow at the Carolina Population Center, where she focused on population-environment interactions and human health.
Currently, Janey is an Associate Professor at the University of Oxford, jointly appointed to the School of Geography and the Environment and the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies. She previously worked as a senior post-doctoral researcher with the Spatial Epidemiology and Ecology Group in the Department of Zoology (2012-2016), coordinating the group’s contribution to the International Research Consortium on Dengue Risk Assessment, Management and Surveillance. In this role, Janey focused on the global patterns and drivers of dengue virus transmission, as well as potential changes in the landscape and epidemiology of the disease resulting from factors such as urbanisation, climate change and economic shifts. In addition to this primary research, Janey led or contributed to research projects relating to the geography of several other diseases, including Zika virus, Leishmaniasis, Plasmodium vivax malaria, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever and Hepatitis C virus.