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Matthew Ferrari

Professor of Biology and CIDD Director
Matt Ferrari


Matthew Ferrari is a Professor of Biology at Penn State.

Ferrari received his PhD in Ecology from Penn State in 2006. He received his Masters in Statistics in 2002 and in Fisheries and Wildlife Management from Montana State University in 1999, and a BA in Biology from Colby College in 1996.

His research focusses on the application of mathematical models and quantitative epidemiology to guide vaccination policy for childhood infections. For over a decade he has worked with the World Health Organization, the US-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Doctors Without Borders on vaccination planning and outbreak response for measles around the world.

Ferrari was a sabbatical fellow at Epicentre/Medecins Sans Frontieres in 2018-19 and currently serves as a technical advisor to the SAGE Measles and Rubella Working Group at the World Health Organization. He joined Penn State as a faculty member in 2010.



  • T, Dansereau E, Ferrari MJ, Hanson M, McCarthy KA, Metcalf CJE, Takahashi S, Tatem AJ, Thakar N, Truelove S, Utazi E, Wesolowski A, Winter AK. 2019. Using models to shape measles control and elimination strategies in low- and middle-income countries: A review of recent applications. Vaccine
  • Cattadori IM, Pathak A, Ferrari MJ. 2019. External disturbances impact helminth–host interactions by affecting dynamics of infection, parasite traits, and host immune responses. Ecology and Evolution DOI: 10.1002/ece3.5805. 
  • Eilertson KE, Fricks J, Ferrari MJ. 2019. Estimation and prediction for a mechanistic model of measles transmission using particle filtering and maximum likelihood estimation. Statistics in Medicine. 
  • Li S, Ferrari MJ, Bjornstad ON, Runge MC, Fonnesbeck CJ, Tildesley MJ, Pannell D, Shea K. 2019. Concurrent assessment of epidemiological and operational uncertainties for optimal outbreak control: Ebola as a case study. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 
  • Probert WJM, Lakkur S, Fonnesbeck CJ, Shea K, Runge MC, Tildesley MJ, Ferrari MJ. 2019. Context matters: using reinforcement learning to develop human readable, state-dependent outbreak response policies. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. 
  • Graham M, Winter AK, Ferrari MJ, Grenfell BT, Moss WJ, Azman AS, Metcalf CJE, Lessler J. 2019. Measles and the canonical path to elimination. Science 364(6440): 584-587. DOI: 10.1126/science.aau6299. 
  • Drake JM, Brett TS, Chen S, Epureanu BI, Ferrari MJ, Marty E, Miller PB, O’Dea EB, O’Regan SM, Park AW, Rohani P. 2019. The statistics of epidemic transitions. PLoS Computational Biology 15(5): e1006917 
  • Utazi CE, Thorley J, Alegana VA, Ferrari MJ, Takahashi S, Metcalf CJE, Lessler J, Cutts FT, Tatem AJ. 2019. Mapping vaccination coverage to explore the effects of delivery mechanism and inform vaccination strategies. Nature Communications 10(1):1633 doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-09611-1. 
  • Safari M, Ferrari MJ, Roossinck MJ. 2019. Manipulation of aphid behavior by a persistent plant virus. J Virology Feb 13 doi: 10.1128/JVI.01781-18. 
  • Portnoy A, Jit M, Ferrari MJ, Hanson M, Brenzel L, Verguet S. 2019. Estimates of case-fatality ratios of measles in low-income and middle-income countries: a systematic review and modelling analysis. The Lancet Global Health DOI:



BIOL 463: General Ecology