Head of the School of Biological Sciences,
Professor of Mathematical Biology,
Head of the Epidemiology and Modelling Group,
Fellow of King's College, Cambridge
||Dept Plant Sciences,
University of Cambridge,
||+44 (0) 1223 333900
||+44 (0) 1223 333953
Brief Curriculum vitae
- Head of the School of Biological Sciences, University of Cambridge (2009-)
- Deputy Head of the School of Biological Sciences, University of Cambridge (2008-2009)
- Professor of Mathematical Biology, Dept Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge (1999-)
- Reader in Mathematical Biology, Dept Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge (1995-1999)
- Fellow King's College, Cambridge (1988-)
- University Lecturer, Dept Plant Sciences (1989-1995), Dept Applied Biology (1982-1989), Cambridge;
- Visiting Professor, Dept Botany & Plant Pathology, Colorado State University (1982);
- University Demonstrator, Dept Applied Biology, University of Cambridge (1977-82).
||B.A. (Keble College Oxford.) Agricultural & Forest Sciences (1974); D.Phil. (Wolfson College, Oxford.) (1978); M..A. (Cantab.) (1977); M.A. (Oxon.) (1978); Sc.D. (Cantab.) (1999).
Honours and Awards
- Professorial Research Fellow BBSRC (2004-2010)
- Fisher Lecturer, Rothamsted Research (2009)
- Fellow American Phytopathological Society (2005)
- President British Society for Plant Pathology (2001)
- Sc.D. University of Cambridge (1999)
- Ad hominem chair University of Cambridge (1999)
- Professorial Fellow King's College, Cambridge (1999)
- Senior Research Fellow Royal Society Leverhulme Trust (1998-1999)
- Honorary Research Fellow Rothamsted Research (1998-2006)
- Chair Science Advisory Board (2011-2014)
- Natural History Muesum Trustee (2011-2015)
- BBSRC Council (2003-2009)
- BBSRC Strategy Board (2005-2009)
- BBSRC Chairman review of crop science research (2003-2004) (report)
- BBSRC Governor Silsoe Research Institute (1998-2009)
- Previously BBSRC Individual Merit Sift Panel (1999-2003) BBSRC Agri-Food Committee (1997-2000) BBSRC Chairman Mathematical Modelling in Agricultural & Food Systems Panel (1999) BBSRC Agric. Systems Directorate (1996-1997) BBSRC-NERC Soil Science Advisory Committee (1995-1999) BBSRC-EPSRC Biomathematics Panel (1997-1998) NERC Ecological Dynamics and Genetics Panel (1997,1998).
Advisory and review panels
- FC/FR Member Advisory Committee for Forestry Research (2006-2010)
- Served as advisor on research in epidemiology, mathematical modelling and agriculture for INRA, SEERAD, DEFRA, NAO.
- Chairman and member of numerous Visiting Groups and Commissions of Evaluation on research institutes for BBSRC, INRA, SEERAD.
- Research Policy Committee (2003-2006)
- General Board
- Council School Biological Sciences
- Council School Clinical Medicine
- Planning and Resources Committee
- Resource Management Committee
- University Risk Steering Committee
- Board of Examinations (1995-2004)
Disease in the changing landscape
My current research is focused on establishing and testing a theoretical framework that enables us to understand invasion, persistence, scale and variability of epidemics within changing agricultural landscapes. The framework is used to identify methods that improve the efficiency of disease control and reduce the risks of failure. This research involves a synthesis of epidemiological theory, population genetics, landscape ecology and economic modelling as well as a complementary experimental programme to test the models. There are three broad components.
Spatio-temporal dynamics of epidemics and invasions
- The challenge here is to develop a suite of stochastic spatio-temporal models to provide the theoretical framework that enables us to understand invasion, persistence, scale and variability of epidemics. Most work is focused on crop disease but the theoretical work encompasses animal as well as human disease.
Control of epidemics
- Epidemiological principles have so far been little used in the optimisation of disease control programmes, particularly for botanical epidemics. By linking epidemiology, population genetics and economic theory, together with models that allow for natural variability that we see in epidemics we are beginning to understand how to use epidemiological principles to guide the deployment of disease control in order to improve efficiency and to minimise the risks of failure at the regional and national scales.
Soil-borne epidemics and biocontrol
- The ecology and diversity of soil-borne micro-organisms is an area of increasing scientific challenge and attention. My primary interest is focused on the theoretical and experimental analysis of soil-borne disease at a range of scales from the microscopic through to the regional spread of disease. This work is supported by a programme in soil physics. More recently, the work has expanded to include soil saprotrophy and soil biodiversity.
Further details are given in the Group Web Pages
Teaching forms part of the at Cambridge in which students attend lecturers, practicals and seminars in university departments, supported by weekly College tutorials (supervisions) in each of their main subjects. Served as Director of Studies responsible for teaching arrangements in Natural Sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Materials and Earth Sciences) King's College from 1990-2004.
Currently on leave from teaching.
First year (Part IA)
- Responsible for 60 lecture course with practicals on the application of mathematics to biological problems for students with A/AS level mathematics. The course was introduced in 1990 and has grown from ~70 to ~200 students per year. The course is motivated throughout by biological questions but provides students with an extensive grounding in modelling techniques, especially ordinary differential equations, as well as statistical methods for data analysis and model testing. The course has weekly practicals for computing to illustrate modern methods of numerical solutions as well as more traditional examples classes for analytical solutions.
- College supervisions in Quantitative Biology, Maths for Natural Sciences, Elementary Maths for Natural Scientists, Evolution and Behaviour
Second year (Part IB)
- Previously contributed lectures and practicals on Epidemiology and Modelling to IB Plant Science students.
- College supervisions in Part IB Plant Sciences, Ecology
Third year (Part II)
- Lecture course on Botanical Epidemiology, with accompanying projects to Part II Plant and Microbial Science students. Previously taught courses in experimental design, spatial analysis and sampling theory.
- College supervisions in Part II Epidemiology and Statistical methods