Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2020FL235B

Assessment of coastal sustainability to (re)emerging biothreats under extreme weather events

Institute: Florida
Year Established: 2020 Start Date: 2020-03-01 End Date: 2021-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $19,094 Total Non-Federal Funds: $40,287

Principal Investigators: Antarpreet Jutla

Abstract: This proposal enhances coastal sustainability from the perspective of increasing resilience of coastal regions to endure occurrence of biothreats (defined as occurrence of host of coexisting pathogens that influence human wellbeing). The challenge, and hence the goal of this research, is to develop predictive understanding on how and when hydroclimatic processes and coastal ecology of pathogens interact with human population such that appropriate mitigation and intervention strategies can be devised for healthy human life in a sustainable coastal environment. Microbial communities, especially Vibrios spp, cause host of diseases in human population along the coast of Florida and hence offers a perfect example to study interaction of coastal ecology and hydroclimate with overall sustainability of water resources in regions. Since various biothreats exists in aquatic habitats, it is highly unlikely that it will be eradicated. But prediction of conditions of biothreats may prevent loss of economy (harvesting food in coastal regions) and human life. With changing climate and uncertainty in emergence of biothreats, we need a new approach to understand and minimize the impact of water-related diseases for sustainability of coastal human communities. We will introduce a new class of spatial risk measurement tool called the Biothreats Assessment Tool (BAT). This statistical tool-based modeling framework, where coastal ecological and hydroclimatological factors, demographical structure and population movement will be assimilated in such a way that it will allow us to examine risks of various types of biothreats at appropriate temporal and spatial scales. BAT will explicitly incorporate effects of an environmental reservoirs of various pathogens, societal structure and ability of the pathogen to persist and thrive under a variety of hydroclimatic and ecological conditions.