Author Archives: Michael McCarthy

About Michael McCarthy

I conduct research on environmental decision making and quantitative ecology. My teaching is mainly at post-grad level at The University of Melbourne.

Environmental Science and ARC Future Fellowships

Environmental Science is one if Australia’s leading research areas. It is a field with Australia’s highest representation of highly-cited authors. And for all the foibles of the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) ratings, it is the field with the … Continue reading


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How I’ll watch the 2022 Australian Federal election

With a few days to go until ballots begin to be counted in the 2022 Australian federal election, I thought I’d give an overview of some of the things I’ll be tracking on Saturday once counting starts. In addition to … Continue reading

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Models – what are they good for?

Models are everywhere at the moment! Everyone in Australia will have heard of the Doherty model, which has helped set Australia’s path out of the pandemic. Modelling from the Burnett Institute is helping to steer both New South Wales and … Continue reading

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COVID hotel quarantine failures – a hierarchical model

With another lockdown in Victoria, the media has been asking why Victoria has had a worse COVID experience than other Australian states. Much can be explained by the challenges of the second wave and an overwhelmed contact tracing system. Contact … Continue reading

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Projecting future deaths from COVID-19 cases

As the number of COVID-19 cases increases in the US and Europe over the last few weeks, some people have claimed that deaths have not increased. Indeed, Donald Trump Jr has claimed* that the number of deaths has declined to … Continue reading

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COVID-19 dynamics

As I mentioned in my teaching blog, the population dynamics practical class in our Ecology subject examined the dynamics of COVID-19 this year, rather than doing an experiment with ciliates. For part of the prac, we simulated a basic SIR … Continue reading

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COVID counterfactuals

So, there is yet another media article pondering whether Victoria’s lockdown is warranted… These articles invariably mention various countries, the level of restrictions, number of deaths and sometimes the current trajectory of cases. We’ve read it all before. The latest … Continue reading

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Where is COVID-19 heading in Australia?

Update: 18 April 2020, p.m. The relatively slow decline in active Australian cases (see original post below) reflects some regional variation in the progression of the epidemic. For example, the number of active cases has increased in Tasmania. In Victoria, … Continue reading

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Local transmission rates

Last update (9 April): In my previous post, I examined country-level trends in transmission rates of the coronavirus. Most of Australia’s cases have been imported from international arrivals (typically returning travellers). Notwithstanding some notable bloopers, controlling importation of coronavirus is … Continue reading

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Progress on COVID-19

Update 7 April: New data on recoveries for Australia – we now have more recoveries than new cases. Spain’s rate of new infections is almost below the rate of recoveries. Update 4 April (latest graphs): Note: There was an error … Continue reading

Posted in Communication, COVID, Ecological models, Probability and Bayesian analysis | 2 Comments