Dr Janey Messina

Associate Professorship in Social Science Research Methods

Janey joined the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies in December 2016, with a joint appointment in the School of Geography and the Environment. 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 a trainee at the Carolina Population Center, where she received formal training in demographic and epidemiological methods. 

Janey has been at the University of Oxford since 2012, where she previously worked as a senior postdoctoral researcher with the Spatial Epidemiology and Ecology Group in the Department of Zoology, She coordinated the group's contribution to the International Research Consortium on Dengue Risk Assessment, Management and Surveillance, focusing her research on 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.


BA (Geography, 2005) - University of California, Los Angeles

MS (Geography, 2008) - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

PhD (Geography, 2011) - University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill


Janey’s teaching focuses on social science research methods, teaching quantitative methods to students in both the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies and the School of Geography and the Environment.


Collaboration and communication with researchers in an array of external fields are central to Janey’s research, which is highly interdisciplinary in nature. Her interests lie primarily in the following areas:

·       Health geography

·       Spatial epidemiology of infectious diseases

·       The application of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and quantitative analysis to public health and social science research questions

·       Population-environment interactions, particularly in developing countries

Selected Publications

1.     Messina, J.P., Kraemer, M.U.G., Brady, O.J., Pigott, D.M., Shearer, F.M., Weiss, D.J., Golding, N., Ruktanonchai, C.W., Gething, P.W., Cohn, E., et al. (2016). Mapping global environmental suitability for Zika virus. eLife 10.7554/eLife.15272.

2.     Messina, J.P., Pigott, D.M., Golding, N., Duda, K.A., Brownstein, J.S., Gething, P.W., Myers, M.F., George, D.B., Hay, S.I. (2015) The global distribution of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 109:1-11.

3.     Messina, J.P., Brady, O.J., Golding, N., Pigott, D.M., Kraemer, M.U.G., Scott, T.W., Wint, G.R.W., Smith, D.L., Hay S.I. (2015). The many projected futures of dengue. Nature Reviews Microbiology 13(4): 230-239.

4.     Messina, J.P., Humphreys, I., Flaxman, A., Brown, A., Cooke, G.S., Pybus, O.G., Barnes, E. (2015). The global distribution and prevalence of HCV genotypes. Hepatology  61(1):77-87.

5.     Messina, J.P., Brady, O.J., Zhou, C., Pigott, D.M., Duda, K., Bhatt, S., Katzelnick, L., Simmons, C.P., Hay, S.I. (2014). The global spread of dengue virus types: mapping the 70-year record. Trends in Microbiology 22(3): 138-146.

6.     Messina, J.P., Mwandagalirwa, K., Taylor, S.M., Emch, M., Meshnick, S.R. (2013) Spatial and social factors drive anemia in Congolese women. Health and Place 24C: 54-64.

7.     Bhatt, S. Gething, P.W., Brady, O.J., Messina, J.P., Farlow, A.W., Moyes, C.L., Drake, J.M., Brownstein, J.S.,  Hoen, A.G., Sankoh, O., et al. (2013) The global distribution and burden of  dengue. Nature 496: 504-507.

8.     Brady, O.J., Gething, P.W., Bhatt, S., Messina, J.P., Brownstein, J.S., Hoen, A.G., Moyes, C.L., Farlow, A.W., Scott, T.W., Hay, S.I. (2012) Refining the global spatial limits of dengue virus transmission by evidence-based consensus. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 6(8):e1760.

9.     Messina, J.P., Taylor, S.M., Meshnick, S.R., Linke, A., Tshefu, A.K., Atua, B., Mwandagalirwa, K., Emch, M. (2011) Population, behavioral and environmental drivers of malaria prevalence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Malaria Journal 10:161.

10.  Messina, J.P., Emch, M., Muwonga, J., Mwandagalirwa, K., Edidi, S.B., Mama, N., Okenge, A. and S.R. Meshnick. (2010) Spatial and socio-behavioral patterns of HIV prevalence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Social Science and Medicine 71(8): 1428-1435. 

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