Research on infodemics (COVID-19 and ASF)


Colloquium Statistical Methods in Empirical Research

On March 18-20th 2019 together with Andrzej Jarynowski and Marcus Doherr we orginize a workshop on "Social network analysis in one health epidemiology". Travel grants are available. Supported by COST.

Austellung "Seuchen von Tier und Mensch auf Netzwerken" auf der Langen Nacht der Wissenschaften

Co-authorship network. Nodes represent researchers and edges represent shared authorships of scientific publications

In the System Modeling group, complex systems of various nature are investigated. Main focus lies on data-driven research on complex networks, stochastic processes with major application in epidemiology, human and animal mobility, behaviorial science, bioinformatics, system biology of host-pathogen interactions. Being part of the Institute for Veterinary Epidemiology and Biostatistics of the Department of Veterinary Medicine at Freie Universität Berlin, we seek to apply mathematical, statistical, computational, machine learning methods in such a highly interdisplinary field as animal science and medicine in general. We are also involved into teaching at the Department of Mathematics and Informatics as well in the "Master of Science in Statistics" program.


  1. Prof. Dr. Vitaly Belik
    group head
  2. Dr. Anastasia Lavrova
    Project: KlauenFitNet2.0 and TB Modeling
  3. Andrzej Jarynowski, researcher
    Epidemiology, Internet research (DFG project 458528774)
  4. Gaojun Dong
    PhD Student. Topic: Deep Learning for Animal Wellbeing Assessment.
  5. Dimitri Stepanov
    PhD Student (co-supervision together with Prof. Gerhard Wolber) Topic: Machine learning for drug discovery and deep learning in animal pathology.
  6. Taras Günther
    PhD Student (co-supervision together with Dr. Stephanie Kramer-Schadt, IZW Berlin) Topic: Schätzung der geographischen Kovariaten der Ausbreitung von Zoonosen und Antibiotika-Resistenzenen.
  7. Francesco Galli
    PhD Student (co-supervisoin together with Prof. Salome Dürr, Vetsuisse, Bern) Topic: Inference and modeling of Swiss animal trade network.
  8. Gültac Cinar
    PhD Student (co-supervisoin together with Prof. Thomas Ammon, FU and ATB Potsdam)
  9. David A.V. da Silva, PhD (doctoral student), BfR
  10. Ben Thies, MS Statistics
  11. Bashar Morouj
    Studentische Hilfskraft, MS Student, Data Science / Bioinformatics (co-supervision together with Prof. Knut Reinert)
  12. Andrea Palmini
    Studentische Hilfskraft, MS Student, Statistics, Thesis: Analysis and modeling of activity (rumination and pedometer) sensor data in dairy cows for heat stress detection and lameness prediction.
  13. A. Sergeeva
    (Veterinary Medicine), FU-PhD-Test-Scholarship (01.07-30.08.2019)
  14. Former Members

  15. Olesia Dogonasheva
    Digital Pathology (FU-PhD-Test-Scholorship)
  16. Ksenia Ovadenko
    MS Student, Statistics, Thesis: Analysis of microbiome data.
  17. Damiano Ferrari
    MS Student, Statistics (cooperation with PD Roswitha Merle), Thesis: Source attribution for Listeria spp
  18. Victor Jacob
    MS Student, Computer Science (co-supervision together Prof. Christof Schütte). Thesis: Mathematical Modeling of Metalloproteinase Dynamics in the Pulmonary Tuberculosis.
  19. Sarah Jahn
    BS Student, Bioinformatics
  20. Niek Andresen
    MS Student, Computer Science (co-supervision with Prof. Olaf Hellwich, TU Berlin). Thesis: Deep learning for pain assessment based on mice facial expressions.
  21. Willie Ekaputra
    BS Bioinformatics (intern)
  22. Jelena Larina
    MS Student, Statistics, Thesis: Toxocara prevalence in Germany: a statistical approach in calculating the necessary sample size for the future study.
  23. Stephanie Ibscher
    now at Pfizer, MS Thesis in Statistics: Time series analysis of animal sensor data: heat-stress effects on dairy cows.
  24. Andrzej Buda
    guest scientist (Poland)
  25. Adrian Pacheco
    guest scientist (Ecuador)

Open Positions

If you are looking for student positions in the field of deep learning for image and text analysis, bioinformatics, statistics, applied machine learning, and complex network analyses of Internet Media please contact the head of the group Prof. Vitaly Belik (vitaly.belik_at_fu-berlin.de).

All interested postdoctoral researchers and PhD applicants are welcome to contact the head of the group Prof. Vitaly Belik as well to discuss possible funding opportunities.

Old advertisement

2 Student positions for development of interactive teaching material is available.

PhD-Postition is available.

If you are interested in working on one of the topics below for your MS/BS/PhD-Project, please contact me: vitaly.belik at fu-berlin.de
  1. Computer vision and deep learning for animal health assessment
  2. Internet Media Analysis using Complex Networks and NLP methods
  3. Modeling lung lesion development caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  4. Parasite-host-environment dynamics (Studentishe Hilfskraftstelle is available)
  5. Modeling the spread of African swine fever in Europe
  6. Microbiome dynamics
  7. Disease spread on networks of hospitals and animal trade networks
  8. Time series analysis in application to sensor data on animal behavior for health monitoring(Paid student position is available)
  9. Hormon dymanics in dogs
  10. Citation and co-authorship networks analysis


Spread of ASF in Poland

Spread of African Swine Fever in Poland

Selected Conference contributions

  • Kerstin E. Müller, Katja Bäumler, Andreas Forkmann, Vitaly Belk, Anastasia Lavrova, Kathrin Friederike Stock, Christina Burau. KLAUENFITNET 2.0 -- ERSTE ERGEBNISSE. Leipziger Tierärzte Kongress, 2022
  • Andrzej Jarynowski, Alexander Semenov, Monika Wójta-Kempa, Vitaly Belik
    "Social dimension of COVID-19 pandemic in Poland on the Internet"
    Talk at the COSTNET Virtual Conference, LMU München, 10th July 2020
  • Andrzej Jarynowski, Alexander Semenov, Vitaly Belik
    Protest perspective against COVID-19 risk mitigation strategies on the German Internet
    The 9th International Conference on Computational Data and Social Networks (CSoNet 2020)
  • David Buchmann, Nadin Schultze, Sebastian Günther, Dmitri Stepanov, Vitaly Belik
    Prediction and investigation of biofilm inhibition on E. coli based on Machine Learning algorithms
    eSymposium of the Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research am 6./7. November 2020
  • Selected Publications

  • Niek Andresen, Manuel Wöllhaf, Katharina Hohlbaum, Lars Lewejohann, Olaf Hellwich, Christa Thöne-Reineke, and Vitaly Belik, working title: Towards a fully automated surveillance of well-being status in laboratory mice using deep learning: Starting with facial expression analysis, PLOS ONE 15(4): e0228059 (2020)
  • Andrzej Jarynowski, Alexander Semenov, Vitaly Belik
    Protest perspective against COVID-19 risk mitigation strategies on the German Internet
    in S. Chellappan et al. (Eds.): CSoNet 2020, LNCS 12575, pp. 524–535, Springer Nature Switzerland AG (2020) https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-66046-8_43
  • A Jarynowski, V Belik, Perception of COVID-19 in Polish Social Media (preprint) medRxiv 2020.05.04.20090993 (2020)https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.05.04.20090993
  • Jarynowski, A., Wójta-Kempa, M., & Belik, V. (2020). Trends in interest of COVID-19 on Polish Internet. Przeglad epidemiologiczny (Epidemiological Review), 74(2), 258-275 (2020)
  • Jarynowski A, Wójta-Kempa M, Belik V. Perception of €œcoronavirus on the Polish Internet until arrival of SARS-CoV-2 in Poland, Nursing and Public Health, 10(2) (2020)
  • Jana Lasser, Matthias Bandtel & Vitaly Belik, Zusammenarbeit mit Praxispartnerinnen und -partnern und Zugang zu Daten, Data Literacy Education Sammelband, Kapitel 7 (to be published)
  • A Lavrova, K Müller, V Belik et al. Lameness prediction based on pedometer sensors in dairy cows (2020) (to be submitted)
  • Jarynowski A, Buda A, Platek D, Belik V. African Swine Fever Awareness in the Internet Media in Poland – €“exploratory review. E-methodology. 2020.:6(6), 100-115. https://doi.org/10.15503/emet2019.100.115
  • A Zyubin, A Lavrova, O Manicheva, M Dogonadze, Vitaly Belik, M Demin, I Samusev. The cell-wall structure variation in mycobacterium tuberculosis with different drug sensitivity using raman spectroscopy in the high-wavenumber region. Laser Physics Letters, 17(6):065602, (2020)
  • Esmedljaeva, Diljara S and Lavrova, Anastasia I and Belik, Vitaly and Postnikov, Eugene B, Identification of markers of acute inflammatory process in the pulmonary tuberculosis, 2019 IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Informatics and Biomedical Sciences (ICIIBMS), p. 313-314 (2019)
  • Anastasia I. Lavrova, D.S. Esmedljaeva, Vitaly Belik, Eugene B. Postnikov, Matrix metalloproteinases as markers of acute inflammation process in the pulmonary tuberculosis. (2019) Data, 4(4), 137.
  • Andrey Zyubin, Anastasia Lavrova, Olga Manicheva, Marine Dogonadze, Vitaly Belik, Ilya Samusev, Raman spectroscopy reveals M. tuberculosis strains with different antibiotic susceptibility, Laser Physics Letters, 16: 085602 (2019)
  • J. Heinicke, C. Ammon, V Belik and T Amon, Analysis of the heat load effects on the individual activity of lactating dairy cows under accumulation of heat load in a naturally ventilated barn (submitted to ECPLF Conference)
  • R Pieper, A Pacheco, V Belik, et al, working title: Abnormal rearing conditions delay effective age as predicted by gut microbiome composition in piglets (in preparation)
  • Jarynowski A., Belik, V. Choroby przenoszone drogą płciową w dobie Internetu i Ezdrowia – kalkulatory ryzyka, in "Człowiek Zalogowany", Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego (2019)
  • Julia Heinicke, Stephanie Ibscher, Vitaly Belik, Thomas Amon, Cow individual activity response to the accumulation of heat load duration. Journal of Thermal Biology. 82, pages: 23-32 (2019) download
  • J Heinicke, S Ibscher, V Belik, T Amon, Effects of the Accumulation of Heat Load Duration on the Activity Behaviour of Lactating Dairy Cows, in Proceedings of New Engineering Concepts for Valued Agriculture. European Conference (2018), DOI:10.18174/471679
  • A Jarynowski, V Belik, working title: Inference of the spreading paths of the African Swine Fever in Poland (in preparation)
  • Leveraging topological and temporal structure of hospital referral networks for epidemic control, Vitaly Belik, André Karch, Philipp Hövel, and Rafael Mikolajczyk, In: Masuda N., Holme P. (eds) Temporal Network Epidemiology. Theoretical Biology. Springer, Singapore (2017) 199-214
  • Surveillance for Outbreak Detection in Livestock-Trade Networks. Frederik Schirdewahn, Vittoria Colizza, Hartmut HK Lentz, Andreas Koher, Vitaly Belik, Philipp Hövel. In: Masuda N., Holme P. (eds) Temporal Network Epidemiology. Theoretical Biology. Springer, Singapore (2017) 215-240
  • Control of Epidemics on Hospital Networks. V Belik, P Hövel, R Mikolajczyk, in Control of Self-Organizing Nonlinear Systems, Springer (2016) 431-440
  • Controlling contagious processes on temporal networks via adaptive rewiring. V Belik, A Fengler, F Fiebig, HHK Lentz, P Hövel, http://arxiv.org/abs/1509.04054
  • Unravelling daily human mobility motifs. CM Schneider, V Belik, T Couronné, Z Smoreda, MC González, Journal of The Royal Society Interface 10 (84), 20130246 (2013)
  • Natural human mobility patterns and spatial spread of infectious diseases. V Belik, T Geisel, D Brockmann, Physical Review X 1 (1), 011001 (2011)
  • Teaching

    Teaching in SoSe 2021

  • Digital Veterinary Medicine
  • Forschung am Fachbereich (Veterinärmedizin, Seminar)
  • Statistical Analysis of (Social) Networks (Vertiefungsseminar, Wirtschaftswissenschaften, MS Statistics), together with Prof. Natalia Rojas
  • Teaching in WiSe 2020/21

  • Digital Veterinary Medicine
  • Forschung am Fachbereich (Veterinärmedizin, Seminar)
  • Biometrie
  • Teaching in SoSe 2020

  • Forschung am Fachbereich (Veterinärmedizin, Seminar)
  • Statistical Analysis of (Social) Networks (Vertiefungsseminar 104114, Wirtschaftswissenschaften), together with Prof. Timo Schmid
  • Bacterial adaptation to antimicrobials: environmental, evolutionary and mechanistic aspects (Seminar 08523), together with Dr. Olga Makarova (cancelled)
  • Teaching in WiSe 2019

  • Digital Veterinary Medicine
  • Forschung am Fachbereich (Veterinärmedizin)
  • Biometrie(Biostatistics)
  • DRS Spring School
  • Teaching in WiSe 2018/19

  • Digital Veterinary Medicine, Wahlpflichtveranstaltung 08788, Zeit: Do 14:30-16:00 (Erster Termin: 18.10.2018) Ort: Hörsaal Tierpathologie (Robert-von-Ostertag-Str. 15)
  • Forschung am Fachbereich (Veterinärmedizin), Wahlpflichtveranstaltung 08748 Zeit: Fr 13:30-14:15 (Erster Termin: 19.10.2018) Ort: KR Pferdewissenschaft (Pferdeklinik 1. OG)
  • Fallstudienseminar an der Statistischen Beratungseinheit fu:stat (S2) 104114 zusammen mit Ulrich Rendtel und Timo Schmid Zeit: Mi 24.10. 16:00-18:00, Mi 07.11. 16:00-18:00 (Erster Termin: 24.10.2018) Ort: 315 Besprechungsraum (Garystr. 21)
  • Teaching in SoSe 2018

  • Digital Veterinary Medicine, Wahlpflichtveranstaltung 08782, Zeit: Do 14:30-16:00 (Erster Termin: 19.04.2018) Ort: Hörsaal Klinik für r Klauentiere
  • Forschung am Fachbereich (Veterinärmedizin), Wahlpflichtveranstaltung 08781 Zeit: Do 13:30-14:15 (Erster Termin: 19.04.2018) Ort: Hörsaal Klinik für Klauentiere
  • Teaching in WiSe 2017/18

  • Angewandte Biometrie, elective course within MS Statistik, together with Prof. Marcus Doherr and PD Lorenz Gygax (jeweils Montags, ab 16.10. von 13:30 bis 15:00 im Raum 107 (1. OG.) in Königsweg 67, Haus 21, 14163 Berlin)
  • Networks analysis in bio-medicine: Spreading processes and dynamics, Seminar 19403811, together with Dr. Nataša Conrad and Prof. Tim Conrad
  • Forschung am Fachbereich (Veterinärmedizin), Wahlpflichtveranstaltung 08781
  • DRS (Dahlem Research School) Spring School, Introduction into Statistical Methods with R, weekly course, together with Prof. Marcus Doherr and PD Lorenz Gygax
  • Teaching in SoSe 2017

  • Angewandte Numerik in der Systembiologie, Seminar 19403511, together with Dr. Max von Kleist and Dr. Vikram Sunkara
  • Forschung am Fachbereich (Veterinärmedizin), Wahlpflichtveranstaltung 08781
  • Software



  • Visualization of research tools and topics
  • Visualization of Hollywood studios based on remaking relations
  • Visualization of Collaborations in Frankfurt School of Finance and Management
  • Partners

  • neuronut