Dr Freya Shearer

University of Melbourne
Research Field: Infectious Disease, Epidemiology

Dr Shearer’s work is focused on mitigating the impact of infectious diseases on society by integrating approaches from mathematical and statistical modelling and decision science. Since January 2020, I have been using models to assist Australian and regional governments to respond to COVID-19. Her team performs real-time monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 transmissibility by estimating the “effective reproduction number” for states/territories and we recently estimated the impacts of different vaccination-prioritisation strategies on transmission and clinical outcomes to inform Australia’s national re-opening plan. 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic she has provided commentary on SARS-CoV-2 epidemiology and the scientific evidence underpinning Australia’s response. In July 2020, I was interviewed on the ABC’s 7:30, close to the peak of the Victorian second epidemic wave. She is also a “#LivingWithCOVIDExpert” for a project supported by the Victorian Secondary Schools Representative Council that provides young people with accurate information on COVID-19 through a social media campaign.

Freya completed her PhD at the University of Oxford in 2018 and she is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne.