Online Seminar Talk

Some Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Fakhteh Ghanbarnejad, Sharif University of Technology
Laboratory of Digital and Computational Demography, July 05, 2022


How does mobility impact the spread of infectious diseases and vice versa? Fakhteh Ghanbarnejad introduced a new definition of effective distance in metapopulation level and show that the geometry of any contagion is a line with a universal slope regardless of the type of disease (R0) or the network of mobility. The empirical data for COVID-19 spread in Iran and USA as well as H1N1 in the world confirm our proposed theory very well. Secondly, he showed how park visits were changed during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Washington States (USA). On the one hand, in the population level, the findings indicate that the gravity law can model the park visits. Also, different socio-economic groups responded differently to the pandemic. On the other hand, on a fine-grained level, the results show that the diversity of visits were changed differently too.

Finally, he briefly discussed disease ecology and its impact on the demographics of different species, both pathogens and hosts. Thus, as an intuitive example, he started with the SARS-COV-2 case.


  • since 2019, Assistant Professor: Dep. of Physics, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran.
  • 2016-2022, Researcher (Principal Investigator): Chair for Network Dynamics, Institute for Theoretical Physics and Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden (cfaed), TU Dresden, Germany. 
    • Quantitative Life Sciences, The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste,  Italy. 
    • Institute for Theoretical Physics (ITP), Technical University of Berlin (TUB), Germany.
  • 2012-2016, Postdoc researcher, Robert Koch-Institute, Berlin, Germany. 
    • Max-Planck-Institut für Physik komplexer Systeme, Dresden, Germany.


Dr. rer. nat. in Informatics, Bioinformatics Group & IZBI, University of Leipzig, Germany, 2012.

BSc. & M.Sc in Physics (complex systems), Physics department, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran 2008.

personal website: sites.google.com/view/fakhtehgh/

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.