Current modelling work encompasses epidemiological theory, population genetics, landscape ecology and economic modelling. The principal challenge is to capture the essential feature of a complicated biological system, such as an epidemic, in a sufficiently rigorous mathematical formulation that allows us to analyse the spatial and temporal dynamics of the system in order to understand:
- why do epidemics occur?
- how do they spread?
- why are they so variable?
- why does disease occur in some regions and not in others?
- how can we move from understanding small-scale phenomena at the level of the plant or patch to the larger-scale of epidemic at the field or region?
- and how can we improve the efficiency of control?
This involves a range of modelling approaches, mathematical techniques and statistical techniques.