Dr. Dawn Nekorchuk

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Follow on twitter @nekodawn or on linkedin


  • Ph.D. in Geography (Medical Geography) and Certificate in One Health, University of Florida
  • Graduate Diploma in Geographic Information Systems, Flinders University, Australia
  • M.S. in Public Health and Certificate in Disaster Management & Humanitarian Assistance, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
  • B.S. in Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Research & Interests

Dawn Nekorchuk is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability at the University of Oklahoma and a member of the EcoGRAPH research group. She is the current lead R developer for the EPIDEMIA project for forecasting climate-mediated infectious diseases, especially the current implementation for malaria forecasting in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. In this project, she has:

  • Developed an R package, epidemiar, for integrating epidemiology and environmental data to produce disease forecasts with early detection and early warning alerts
  • Developed data workflows and wrote customized R code to support local Ethiopian partners in generating their own malaria forecast reports
  • Designed new weekly report statistics and format with collaboration with Ethiopian public health officials for their use for intervention planning and response
  • Co-lead/assisted with R and forecasting system training workshops: 2017 USA, 2018 Ethiopia
  • Created tutorial videos and documentation for Ethiopian colleagues
  • Created an outbreak event detection algorithm to allow for declining long term trends in the context of malaria elimination interventions.

In her previous doctoral research, she modeled and analyzed of bison movement patterns and space use as compared to potential risk areas from ecological niche model Bacillus anthracis presence estimates, and wrote a compartmental model for anthrax transmission in R combining data from 2008 outbreak plus published literature.
Her public health master’s research was on bioterrorism preparedness of licensed professionals (physicians, nurses, dentists, veterinarians, social workers and psychologists) in Hawaii.

Dr. Nekorchuk is also involved in the Software and Data Carpentry workshops at OU and training to become an instructor with The Carpentries.

  • EPIDEMIA - Malaria Early Warning in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia
  • epidemiar R package
  • epidemiar-demo R project for a full demonstration to accompany the epidemiar package

Conference Presentations (EPIDEMIA)


  • Nekorchuk DM, Gebrehiwot T, Lake M, Yalew W, Mihretie A, Wimberly MC. Early detection of malaria in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. Malaria Journal. In review.
  • Davis JK, Gebrehiwot T, Worku M, Awoke W, Mihretie A, Nekorchuk DM, Wimberly MC. A genetic algorithm for identifying spatially-varying environmental drivers in a malaria time series model. Environmental Modelling and Software. In review.
  • Gomez JP, Nekorchuk DM, Mao L, Ryan SJ, Ponciano JM, Blackburn JK. Decoupling environmental effects and Bison (Bison bison bison) population dynamics in anthrax, a classic reservoir-driven disease. PloS one. 2018;13(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0208621
  • Nekorchuk DM, Morris LR, Asher V, Hunter DL, Ryan SJ, Blackburn JK. Potential Bacillus anthracis risk zones for male bison in southwestern Montana. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 2019; 55(1), 136-141. https://doi.org/10.7589/2017-09-234
  • Mao L, Nekorchuk DM. Measuring spatial accessibility to healthcare for populations with multiple transportation modes. Health & Place. 2013 Nov;24:115-22. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2013.08.008
  • Katz AR, Nekorchuk DM, Holck PS, Hendrickson LA, Imrie AA, Effler PV. Hawaii veterinarians’ bioterrorism preparedness needs assessment survey. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. 2006;33(4):612-7. https://doi.org/10.3138/jvme.33.4.612
  • Katz AR, Nekorchuk DM, Holck PS, Hendrickson LA, Imrie AA, Effler PV. Hawaii physician and nurse bioterrorism preparedness survey. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine. 2006;21(6):404. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1049023X00004118
  • Katz AR, Nekorchuk DM, Holck PS, Hendrickson LA, Imrie AA, Effler PV. Dentists’ preparedness for responding to bioterrorism A survey of Hawaii dentists. The Journal of the American Dental Association. 2006;137(4):461-7. https://doi.org/10.14219/jada.archive.2006.0217
  • Katz AR, Nekorchuk DM, Holck PS, Hendrickson LA, Imrie AA, Effler PV. Bioterrorism Preparedness Survey of Hawaii Mental Health Professionals. International Journal of Mental Health. 2006;35(1):12-25. https://doi.org/10.2753/IMH0020-7411350101
  • Kirby JE, Nekorchuk DM. Bartonella-associated endothelial proliferation depends on inhibition of apoptosis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2002;99(7):4656-61. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.072292699