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Ottar N. Bjørnstad

Ottar N. Bjørnstad

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Distinguished Professor of Entomology and Biology

W249 Millennium Science Complex
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 863-2983
Lab Phone: (814) 863-1815


  1. Ph.D., Ecology, University of Oslo, 1997
  2. M.S., Zoology, University of Oslo, 1993
  3. B.A., Biology, University of Oslo, 1991

Postdoc Training

  1. University California, Santa Barbara, 1998-2000
  2. Norwegian Science Foundation, 1997-1998

Research Interests

Ecology, Infectious Disease Dynamics, and Theoretical and Computational Biology

I am a theoretical ecologist working as a professor in the Departments of Entomology and Biology. My main interests are population ecology and population dynamics with particular emphasis on mathematical and computational aspects. I am also an adjunct professor in the Department of Statistics, and carry out research in statistical ecology and in methods for analyzing spatiotemporal data.

Selected Publications

Metcalf, C. J. E., A. L. Graham, S. Huijben, V. C. Barclay, G. H. Long, B. T. Grenfell, A. F. Read, and O. N. Bjørnstad. 2011. Partitioning regulatory mechanisms of within-host malaria dynamics using the effective propagation number. Science 333: 984-988.

Lavine, J., A. A. King, and O. N. Bjørnstad. 2011. Natural immune boosting in pertussis dynamics and the potential for long-term vaccine failure. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 108: 7259-7264.

Ferrari, M. J., R. F. Grais, A. J. K. Conlan, N. Bharti, O. N. Bjørnstad, L. J. Wolfson, P. J. Guerin, A. Djibo, and B. T. Grenfell. 2008. Seasonality, stochasticity and the dynamics of measles in sub-Saharan Africa. Nature 451: 679-684.

Johnson, D. M., A. M. Liebhold, P. C. Tobin, and O. N. Bjørnstad. 2006. Allee effects and pulsed invasion by the gypsy moth. Nature 444: 361-363.

Viboud, C., O. N. Bjørnstad, D. L. Smith, L. Simonsen, M. A. Miller, and B. T. Grenfell. 2006. Synchrony, waves and spatial hierarchies in the spread of influenza. Science 312: 447-451.

Bjørnstad, O. N., M. Peltonen, A. M. Liebhold, and W. Baltensweiler. 2002. Waves of larch budmoth outbreaks in the European alps. Science 298: 1020-1023.

Bjørnstad, O. N. and B. T. Grenfell. 2001. Noisy clockwork: time series analysis of population fluctuations in animals. Science 293: 638-643.

Bjørnstad, O. N., S. M. Sait, N. C. Stenseth, D. J. Thompson, and M. Begon. 2001. Coupling and the impact of specialised enemies on the dimensionality of prey dynamics. Nature 401: 1001-1006.

Grenfell, B. T., O. N. Bjørnstad, and J. Kappey. 2001. Travelling waves and spatial hierarchies in measles epidemics. Nature 414: 716-723.