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ModAH², the 2nd International Conference "Modelling in Animal Health"

ModAH², the 2nd International Conference "Modelling in Animal Health"
The 2nd international conference "Modelling in Animal Health" ModAH², jointly organised by the SA and MathNum departments, took place online during four half-day webinars, between April and October 2021. The exceptional way in which the conference was organised, due to the COVID19 pandemic, naturally limited direct interaction between participants but, in return, allowed for a wide participation, with a great diversity of origins (26 different countries). Over 230 people attended the event. Modelling in all its forms was at the heart of the presentations and discussions, with the shared objective of better understanding and predicting the spread of pathogens in animal populations. Most of the presentations were recorded and made available online for wide distribution. This conference is resulting in a series of papers in the journal Veterinary Research, based on the work presented, for which the international scientific committee of the conference acts as guest editors.

Context and issues

INRAE initiated the ModAH conference, the first edition of which was held in 2017. Together with international colleagues, we noted the absence of a modelling conference dedicated to animal health in the existing panel of events. Since 2008, an international congress in epidemiological modelling (Epidemics) has been organised every two years, and since 2017, an annual congress in infectious disease modelling (IDDconf) has been held in England. However, the part devoted to animal epidemiology applications in these conferences is limited and does not allow for specific exchanges on the objects of study. On the other hand, in the two leading international conferences on veterinary epidemiology (SVEPM and ISVEE), modelling work is poorly represented, which does not allow for exchanges on generic methods and approaches. The international conference "Modelling in Animal Health" (ModAH) aims to promote the percolation of ideas, approaches and methods, and to share major scientific results in the field. The preferred approaches are mathematical modelling, statistical inference and intensive simulations.


This event corresponds to the 2nd edition of the ModAH congress. The first edition (June 2017) was organised in Nantes and brought together 84 participants from very diverse backgrounds. The participants' opinions on this conference were collected via a satisfaction form. Among the respondents (40%), all wanted this conference to be repeated, and for more than half of them in the same format, in plenary, at a biennial frequency. We thought it wise to organise the first editions of this conference in the same place, to establish its image, which led to a second edition also organised by INRAE. More than 230 scientists from all geographical areas (26 countries) attended the 2021 edition, which was held exclusively online. Multidisciplinary views enriched the discussions, allowing to consider from many angles the way to produce scientific methods and knowledge. This event was an opportunity to share recent research conducted around the world in animal health modelling and to open up avenues for future international collaboration.


This congress is intended to be a long-term event, ideally by organising a face-to-face conference every three years. The next sessions will probably still be organised by INRAE, but in the long term, the challenge is for the scientific community to take turns in organising the conference, in order to further promote the percolation of ideas and approaches.


This conference will result in a series of papers in the journal Veterinary Research, for which the international scientific committee of the conference will act as guest editors.