I am a population biologist, working at the interface between theoretical models and empirical data. I'm particularly interested in:
- Investigating how the interaction of noise and non-linear density-dependent feedback drive population processes at different scales
- Understanding the spatio-temporal dynamics of infectious disease and how these are affected by control strategies
- Phylodynamics: exploring how pathogen phylogenies are affected by host immunity, transmission bottlenecks and epidemic dynamics — at scales from individual host to population.
With Ottar Bjørnstad and Yingcun Xia (University of Singapore), we have conducted a major study using gravity models (adapted from transportation theory) to capture and explain key features of measles metapopulation dynamics in developed countries (England and Wales). We are currently extending this work to:
- Measles in developing and least-developed countries, in collaboration with Rebecca Grais (Médecins sans Frontières) and others.
- Human influenza in the U.S.A. in collaboration with Cecile Viboud and David Smith at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
- I am exploring the dynamics of Bordetella pertussis (whooping cough) epidemics in collaboration with Pejman Rohani (University of Georgia, Athens).
- In association with Matt Keeling (University of Warwick, U.K.), Mark Woolhouse (University of Edinburgh, U.K.) and Steve Brooks (University of Cambridge, U.K.), we are investigating vaccination control strategies for foot and mouth disease in livestock.
Réka Albert and I are using network models to explore how disease dynamics are affected by heterogeneities in social interactions between hosts.