Monsters, microbiology and mathematics: the epidemiology of a zombie apocaplypse

J. Verran, M. Crossley, K. Carolan, N. Jacobs, M. Amos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this learning exercise was to harness current interest in zombies in order to educate audiences about the epidemiology of infectious disease. Participants in the activity were provided with an outbreak scenario, which they then used as the basis of play-based activities. By considering the mode and speed of transmission, size of outbreak and prevention/control strategy, participant groups were able to define parameters of their outbreak scenario. These were then input to SimZombie, a computer simulation program developed by the authors, which visually demonstrated the spread of infection through a population. The resulting animations were then used as the basis of in-depth discussion which, in turn, enabled the consideration of principles of disease transmission and control strategies. The activity provided an opportunity to engage a range of audiences through a variety of different delivery mechanisms, including role play, workshops and informal drop-in. Learning was evidenced by participation and feedback.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-104
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Education
Issue number2
Early online date29 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

MoMiMa wish to acknowledge the support of the
EPSRC Bridging the Gaps: NanoInfoBio project
(EP/H000291/1) and the Society for Applied
Microbiology ( for providing
financial support for some of the events. HEA
National Teaching Fellowship funding awarded to
JV was also used to provide support.


  • Epidemiology
  • mathematical modelling
  • zombies


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