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Modelling the dispersal of plant pathogen vectors

A 4-year BBSRC funded Industrial CASE PhD studentship is available at the University of Cambridge in collaboration with the UK Met Office

Applications are invited from suitably qualified physicists, mathematicians, statisticians and modellers for a PhD position to work on:

Modelling the dispersal of plant pathogen vector

The Studentship will be primarily based in the Epidemiology and Modelling group at the University of Cambridge with research visits to work with the Atmospheric Dispersion and Air Quality Group at the UK Met Office. The Studentship is designed to develop improved epidemiological models to predict the spread of vectored plant pathogens through heterogeneous natural and agricultural landscapes by coupling the Met Office’s Numerical Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling Environment (NAME) with stochastic, spatially-explicit epidemiological models focusing on dispersal, local establishment and bulking up of vectors on host sites.

The Epidemiology and Modelling Group has existing research projects related to insect- vectored diseases of cassava (Cassava Brown Streak Virus vectored by white fly (Bemesia spp.)), beans (Bean Common Mosaic Virus vectored by aphids (Aphis spp.)) both in Africa, and citrus crops (Citrus Greening caused by the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter spp. and vectored by psyllids (Diaphorina citri)) in the US. The student will have the opportunity to develop practical models for use by policy makers and regulators to predict the spread of these diseases at regional and country-wide scales.

The student will be supervised jointly by Prof. Chris Gilligan at the University of Cambridge and by Dr Laura Burgin at the UK Met Office.  Students will be registered for a PhD degree at the University of Cambridge and will spend part of their time at the UK Met Office in Exeter.

This BBSRC-funded studentship is open to UK and EU citizens who meet the UK residency requirements set out by the BBSRC for the full studentship.

Applicants are invited to submit a CV and names of two referees to Sally Hames (  Further particulars are available to download.