Dr. Aneta Afelt from the Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modelling of the University of Warsaw is among the members of the interdisciplinary COVID-19 Advisory Team that received the Nicolaus Copernicus’ medal of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Medals of the Polish Academy of Sciences are awarded to scientists for their outstanding scientific achievements who contribute to the scientific community in Poland and are not national members of the Polish Academy of Sciences.


The interdisciplinary COVID-19 Advisory Team was established by the President of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Its members received Nicolaus Copernicus’ medal.


The team for COVID-19 has been operating since June 2020. Scientists monitor the epidemic situation in Poland, closely follow possible scenarios and make recommendations. Its members, including Dr. Aneta Afelt from UW, received medals for “participating in the work of the interdisciplinary COVID-19 Advisory Team at the President of the Polish Academy of Sciences, creating a compendium of knowledge about the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and COVID-19 disease, and the preparation of 21 statements on various aspects of the COVID-19 epidemic.”


The medals were awarded to:

  • Prof. Krzysztof Pyrć,
  • Prof. Magdalena Rosińska,
  • Prof. Tomasz Smiatacz,
  • Dr. Aneta Afelt PhD,
  • Prof. Anna Ochab-Marcinek,
  • Prof. Radosław Owczuk,
  • Dr. Wojciech Paczos,
  • Dr. Anna Plater-Zyberk.

So far, the Advisory Team has published 22 detailed statements in which scientists made recommendations for public services and the entire society.


Among awardees is Dr. Aneta Afelt, a researcher at the UW Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computer Modelling. She is a geographer, dealing with health geography and environmental science. Her research focuses on the interdisciplinary application of geography and its research apparatus in complex epidemiological analyses. Since 30th June 2020, she has been the Secretary of the COVID-19 Advisory Team under the President of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Since October 2019, Dr. Aneta Afelt has been a guest of the Espace-DEV research group, whose research area is modelling of socioecological niches. This laboratory is affiliated with IRD – Institut de Recherche pour le Développement in Montpellier (France). The UW scientist also participates in international epidemiology and public health projects, including the World Health Organization (WHO).


In April 2018, together with her colleagues, Dr. Aneta Afelt published an article forecasting the risk of a new coronavirus outbreak in the South East Asia region: “Bats, Coronaviruses, and Deforestation: Toward the Emergence of Novel Infectious Diseases?” (Frontiers in Microbiology). She has been one of the first public voices in the country to speak openly about the inevitable appearance of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Poland. As the reason for the inevitability of colonisation of the global community by the virus, she refers to our connectivity – intercontinental and regional, which is a network of individual transmissions from human to human.