• Nothing can prepare you...


    October 18-21, 2018

    Arizona State University

  • About ZAMM

    The Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Meeting (ZAMM) is a radically interdisciplinary meeting that bridges science and the arts to grapple with the most pressing challenges of the present and the future. We define a zombie as an entity that is fully or partially under the control of another entity. This includes host-parasite interactions, autonomous technology, and coercion/control in human interactions. These dynamics - where one entity controls another - can lead to unanticipated biological, technological and social consequences. ZAMM brings together scientists, artists, doctors, lawyers, ethicists and futurists to engage with the challenges of zombification and the apocalyptic conditions that may be generated by or contribute to zombification. We use the zombie apocalypse as a lens through which we can engage about potentially frightening aspects of our present and future without fear and anxiety, but instead with imagination and creativity. The goal of ZAMM is to reduce the global burden of zombification and contribute to apocalypse prevention and preparedness through interdisciplinary engagement.

  • Invited Speakers

    The Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Meeting features talks from across the disciplines

    Public Lecture: Max Brooks

    Author of the Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z

    Creativity: The most important survival skill for the zombie apocalypse

    Public Lecture: Dr. Kelly Weinersmith

    Adjunct Assistant Professor, BioSciences Department, Rice University

    Welcome to Zombieland: Real tales of parasites manipulating host behavior

    Visiting Professor, Harvard University Department of Human Evolutionary Biology

    Issues in adolescent zombie medicine: Managing risk taking, substance use and pregnancy prevention in the teenaged undead

    Public Performance: Baba Brinkman

    The Rap Guide to Consciousness (and Zombies)

    Plenary: Dr. Amy Boddy

    Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, UCSB

    Is your mom a zombie? The evolutionary implications of fetal microchimerism

    Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Texas Austin

    The evolutionary psychology of zombies: Better to be dead or undead?

    Plenary: Cameron Carlson

    Director, Homeland Security & Emergency Management Program Advisory Board, The Zombie Research Society

    Emergency management and response for the zombie apocalypse

    Senior Lecturer, University of Portsmouth, UK

    They all want your brainz: Zombification and manipulation

    Plenary: Mark Mannucci

    Peabody and Emmy Award winning Producer & Director

    Making microbes into movies: Science communication for the zombie apocalypse

    Plenary: Makers of the Shabam! podcast

    Shabam! podcast, The science podcast that'll eat your brain

    Fact and fiction in the zombie apocalypse

  • Conference Program

    To view the conference program, click here.

    Bug-out medicine preconference

    Thursday Oct 18, 9:00am-12:00pm

    Join Emergency Medicine Doctors Joe Alcock and team for a wilderness survival and bug-out medicine pre-conference. Participation is free with your meeting registration.

    Meeting schedule

    Thursday Oct 18 - Sunday Oct 21

    The meeting will begin at 9:00 am on Thursday, October 18 and conclude at noon on Sunday, October 21st


    The Poster Session will take place on Saturday, October 20th, between 3:30 - 5:00 pm, at the Memorial Union Building, Room Ventana B. To see the poster abstracts, click here.


    There will be complimentary food and beverage throughout the meeting. For more lunch options, please click here.

    Special sessions

    Thursday Oct 18 - Sunday Oct 21

    Special sessions explore topics from host-parasite interactions to the psychology of zombies to risk management for the zombie apocalypse. Each session is made of up 4-6 talks on related topics. Session chairs are indicated in italics.

    • Does culture have a mind of its own? Lee Cronk
    • Zombie robots and autonomous vehicles: Who's responsible? Azim Shariff
    • The psychology of the zombies Vaughn Becker
    • Strategies for generating and countering zombification threats Mark Flinn
    • Proper care and feeding in the zombie apocalypse Corrie Whisner
    • Zombie apocalypse risk management and disaster response Esma Gel
    • Cancer, viruses and other microscopic agents of zombification Carlo Maley


    Thursday Oct 18 - Sunday Oct 21

    Panels will feature 4-6 discussants who will present brief thoughts and then open up the table for discussion on the panel topic. Panel chairs are indicated in italics.

    • Moral survivorship after the zombie apocalypse Stephanie Birdsall & Jason Robert
    • Haunted science: Frankenstein, zombies and our obsession with the monstrous Ed Finn
    • Fifty Years of the Undead in Film and Popular Culture Emily Zarka
    • Zombie education for the apocalypse and other disasters Gretchen Gano​
    • Zombie Soldiers, Brain Injury and PTSD in the Armed Services Emily Zarka
    • SimZombie session John Carter McKnight
  • Public Events

    Free of charge and open to the public

    Max Brooks

    Author of the Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z

    Thursday Oct 18, 4:30-6:00 pm 

    Student Pavilion, Senita A, Arizona State University

    Creativity: The most important survival skill for the zombie apocalypse

    To RSVP click here.

    Baba Brinkman

    Peer-reviewed Rap Artist

    Thursday Oct 18, 7:00-8:00 pm

    Memorial Union, Cochise Room 228, Arizona State University

    The rap guide to consciousness (and zombies)

    To RSVP click here.

    Kelly Weinersmith

    Rice University

    Sunday, October 21, 12:00-1:00 pm

    Memorial Union, Ventana Ballroom A, Arizona State University

    Welcome to Zombieland: Real tales of parasites manipulating host behavior

    To RSVP click here.

  • Submit your late-breaking abstract

    Follow the link below to submit a late-breaking abstract for the FACT/FICTION poster session at ZAMM 2018.

    Abstract submission closes on October 5.


  • Zombie Arts

    Zombie Arts: Making Monsters, toxoplasma gondii, a mock trial, and grrr...more

    Make me a Monster

    Featuring Mario Munguia Jr

    Graduate Student, Art, Herberger Institute, Arizona State University

    Friday, October 19 - Sunday, October 21

    Memorial Union, Apache Room, Arizona State University


    Workshops throughout the conference:

    From scary diseases like cancer and schizophrenia to perceived technological demons such as cell phones and the internet, to mythologies mined from our imagination like zombies, werewolves, and vampires, we are besieged with monsters. What (or who) do you consider a monster? Here’s your chance to make and take home your very own monster.


    Sign up sheet at the registration desk.

    Take a snapshot of your creation and post it on Instagram/ Twitter: #ZAMM18

    The Life Cycle of Toxoplasma Gondii

    by artist Rachel Mayeri

    Friday, October 19 - Sunday, October 21

    Memorial Union, Arizona State University


    A 29-screen video installation presents the life cycle of the toxoplasma gondii parasite, spread by oral-fecally by cats, causing a "fatal attraction" in mice and entrepreneurial behavior in humans. The artwork explores the proliferation of cat videos on the internet in tandem with the mind-controlling disease.

    Patient Zero

    by artist Jillian McDonald

    Friday, October 19 - Sunday, October 21

    Memorial Union, Arizona State University

    He stops in his tracks, forgetting his way to the office. In line for coffee, she stops and stares at the sun as the line moves on without her. A ringtone sounds and they twitch to the tune, talking to themselves and plants and digging in the dirt. Is something controlling their minds? Are they lost in the desert? Is this The Rapture? Or the beginning of the Zombie Apocalypse we've all been waiting for?

    Photo credit: Stephen Gittins

    Not Guilty Due to Zombification? Law & Forensic Psychiatry After the Apocalypse

    Friday, October 19, 10 am

    Memorial Union, Arizona State University

    Featuring forensic psychiatrists Praveen R. Kambam, M.D., Vasilis K. Pozios, M.D., and H. Eric Bender, M.D., this mock trial of a now “cured" zombie explores criminal responsibility in a post-apocalyptic society.


    Broadcast Thought is a group of three physicians, specializing in forensic, child and adolescent, and adult psychiatry, who provide expert consultation to the media and entertainment industries. As creative consultants, subject matter experts, and co-producers of mental health related content, Broadcast Thought adds new dimensions to portrayals of mental illness, evolves perceptions of mental health matters, and advances popular media in innovative directions.

  • Meeting Location and Travel

    Join the Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Meeting in Tempe, AZ

    Meeting Location

    Arizona State University, Memorial Union

    ZAMM will take place on the campus of Arizona State University primarily in the Memorial Union, with some events at the new Student Pavilion.

    Meeting Hotel

    The Graduate Hotel, 225 E Apache Blvd, Tempe, AZ 85281

    The Graduate Hotel is immediately adjacent to the ASU campus and a 10 min walk to the primary meeting site. To book rooms in the ZAMM hotel block at a discounted rate, use this link. The group rate is available until September 26, 2018.

    Flying in to Phoenix

    Phoenix Skyharbor is the most convenient airport to the meeting location. It is approximately a 15 min drive from ASU campus and the meeting site. If you are staying at the conference hotel, The Graduate Hotel, they offer complementary shuttle service to and from the airport. Taxis and ride share vehicles are available at the airport.

    While you're here

    You might want to consider staying and attending the Cultural Evolution's Society meeting which takes place immediately after ZAMM. The goal of CES is to advance the research and applications of cultural evolutionary studies. CES supports all evolutionary approaches to the study of human and nonhuman animal culture.

  • Register for ZAMM

    Your registration fees cover access to all conference events; light breakfasts and refreshments. If you wish to attend the banquet, please choose the registration option that includes the banquet.


    Early registration (until September 15, 2018)

    Regular registration with banquet: $400

    Regular registration without banquet: $350

    Student registration with banquet: $275

    Student registration without banquet: $250


    Late registration (September 16 - October 11, 2018)

    Regular registration with banquet: $500

    Regular registration without banquet: $450

    Student registration with banquet: $325

    Student registration without banquet: $300


    Registration policy
    Full payment of the registration fee must be made at the time of registration. Payments can be made by credit card (MasterCard, Visa, Discover or American Express). No check or cash payments are accepted. Cancellations and refund requests for the Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Meeting 2018 must be submitted in writing. For cancellations made by 9/1/18, the registration fee will be refunded minus a 30% cancellation fee. No refunds will be issued for cancellations after 9/1/18.


    Registration closes on October 14.


    We are excited to offer free registration to ASU faculty, staff, students, and alumni for Thursday, October 18! To register, click here*

    *Must use a valid ASU email address; There is limited seating available, which allows for complimentary registration for up to 40 participants, on a first come first served basis.


  • Zombie Apocalypse Medicine

    ZAMM covers all topics related to survival during the zombie apocalypse

    Translational Zombie Theory

    The etiology and treatment of zombie-related diseases and disorders. Topics include rabies, toxoplasma gondii, resuscitation, trauma, microchimerism, parasite-associated mental illness, sickness behavior, sleep deprivation, predator/prey adaptations, mind control, manipulation, and eating behavior.

    Evidence Based Zombie Medicine

    Medical challenges during the zombie apocalypse. Topics include zombie survival toolkit, treatment of mammalian bites, wound care and repair, thermoregulation, solar injury, and empirically proven strategies for resisting mind-control.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Zombie Apocalypse Medicine FAQs

    Is this for real?

    Yes, this is for real. We are having an academic meeting about zombies and the apocalypse.

    What is a zombie?

    The Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Alliance defines a zombie as "An individual whose physiology and behavior are (fully or partially) under the control of a genetically distinct individual or population of individuals."

    What is the apocalypse?

    The Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Alliance focuses on understanding and treating diseases that arise from extreme physical, and social conditions. This includes the study of the genetic and evolutionary basis for our strengths and vulnerabilities in extreme environments

    How is Zombie Apocalypse Medicine different from regular medicine?

    Zombie Apocalypse Medicine (ZAM) is a theoretically grounded approach to understanding and treating disease in extreme conditions. These conditions include post-disaster environments, challenging ecological settings such as high altitude and extreme cold, social conditions conditions characterized by mind control and manipulation and scenarios characterized by highly contagious infectious disease. ZAM employs theoretical frameworks including genetic conflict theory, game theory, evolutionary theory, and adaptationism in order to understand how humans and other species have evolved to counter both the physical challenges of apocalyptic conditions and psychological challenges of zombie mind control.

    Is there a 'zombie gene'?

    No, zombies arise from complex interactions between the genetics of the susceptible individual (host) and the genetics of the individual (or population of individuals) that takes full or partial control of the susceptible individual. Research is currently underway to elucidate the co-evolutionary dynamics underlying zombie susceptibility genes in hosts and corresponding zombie promotion genes in parasites.

    What is zombie resistance evolution?

    Humans and most other species have been shaped by billions of years of zombie resistance evolution. Zombie resistance evolution is a co-evolutionary process wherein hosts evolve mechanisms of resistance to mind control/manipulation and parasites evolve increasingly sophisticated strategies in response. This evolutionary arms-race means that hosts must continue evolving in response to manipulation strategies. In other words, we are always on the run. ZAM utilizes computational modeling, genomics and evolutionary methods to quantify these dynamics and test alternative treatment strategies.

    Is being a zombie necessarily a bad thing?

    Zombies arise when one individual succumbs to control by a genetically distinct individual or population of individuals. If the fitness interests of the host and controller are sufficiently aligned (either because of genetic similarity or sources of fitness interdependence), the resulting zombie may actually become capable of achieving even higher levels of fitness than would be possible in the absence of infection. Theoretical models suggest that becoming a super-fit zombie may be an effective zombie resistance strategy. Research is underway to determine whether humans and other species have undergone positive selection to become super-fit zombies in order to counter the constantly evolving zombie threat.

  • About ZAMM

    Organizing Committee

    ZAMM is organized by an interdisciplinary team based primarily at ASU

    Athena Aktipis, Psychology, Conference Chair

    Joe Alcock, Emergency Medicine, Organizing Committee

    David Guston, Political Science, Organizing Committee

    Carlo Maley, Evolutionary Biology, Organizing Committee

    Pamela Winfrey, Sci-Arts, Organizing Committee


    Cristina Baciu, Support Staff, Conference Logistics Coordinator

  • Code of Conduct

    For Humans, Zombies and all other Monsters


    The Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Alliance (ZAMA) is committed to providing a positive and respectful environment for humans, zombies and all other monsters. This means creating and maintaining an environment at the Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Meeting (ZAMM) that is free of coercion, discrimination, cannibalism, harassment and any other non-consensual zombification dynamics. ZAMA’s mission includes reducing the global burden of zombification and that begins at our meetings. All participants are expected to be respectful to individual autonomy, engage in constructive professional discussion and help create an environment that is inclusive and equitable to all participants.

    Inclusion and diversity

    ZAMA is dedicated to supporting and cultivating diversity in all its forms: interdisciplinary diversity, microbial diversity and the many dimensions of human diversity. By participating in ZAMM you are agreeing to provide equal opportunity and treatment to all other participants regardless of gender, gender identity or expression, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion or religious belief, political beliefs, age, marital status, sexual orientation, physical features, disabilities, veteran status, or any other reason. You are also agreeing to refrain from any and all forms of harassment, including unwelcome words, actions, gestures, symbols, attention, or behavior. You agree to refrain from using zombification tactics including aggressive pressure, offensive behavior, face eating, intimidation, physical or verbal abuse, persecution, force; coercion, or hostility of a sexual, social, or other nature. ZAMM is not the place for testing or utilizing your capacities to zombify other humans through your resources, power, physical formidability or irresistible charisma.

    What to do if you experience coercive zombification attempts

    If you experience or witness discrimination, harassment or coercive zombification attempts, should notify the ZAMM conference chair (Athena Aktipis, aktipis@asu.edu) or contact a ZAMM program committee member (anyone at http://www.zombiemed.org/#conference-program). Such communications, and the identities of the parties involved, will be kept in confidence to the extent that it does not compromise the rights of other individuals. After ZAMM staff have been notified, they will first discuss the details with the person making the complaint, then with any witnesses, and then with the alleged offender, before determining appropriate action. All reports will be treated and investigated seriously and promptly.


    Persons who act contrary to the values and expectations expressed in this policy statement may be warned, or asked to leave the event in which the behavior occurred; may be excluded from access to current and/or future ZAMM conferences and/or other events; and/or may be subject to other appropriate disciplinary or corrective action, at the discretion of ZAMM. In other words, don’t be an asshole or you will be asked to leave.

    Dress code

    Apocalypse Casual. Zombies welcome.

  • Contact Us

    We'll be in touch soon!