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Department of Plant Sciences

 

Research group

 

Research overview

My research looks at how we can integrate human behaviours into models of crop diseases. Plant diseases are often modelled as if individual growers are perfectly rational and always comply with management guidelines, though in the real world this is rarely the case. Growers will vary in their attitudes to risk, will have different resources available to them and may also act selfishly. These different behaviours all impact how a disease spreads, and will also affect the success of management schemes. 
 
My project approaches the problem in two ways. The first integrates varying levels of risk aversion, the quality of information and the resources available to growers whilst the second uses game theory. These two methods will then be combined to create a model that captures some of the behavioural complexity found amongst growers. 
 

Teaching 

I have supervised three undergraduate projects to completion; two summer projects on spatial models of citrus disease and a third final-year project on reactive surveying strategies for plant disease detection entitled “A Reactive Proximity Based Survey Strategy for Effective Detection of Plant Disease”. This student’s project went on to win a prize from the British Society for Plant Pathology for best undergraduate research project in plant pathology. 

 

Between 2019 and 2021, I supervised first-year Natural Sciecnes students in Mathematical Biology at Peterhouse, Cambridge, as well as supervising Part II psychology students in their statistics modules for Homerton. I also demonstrate on R computing practicals for students across the Natural Sciences cohort.

 

Biography

I graduated from Imperial College London in 2018 with a BSc in Biological Sciences, focussing on plant diseases and immunology. My final year project, supervised by Dr Andrea Beaghton and Professor Austin Burt, investigated the spatial spread of gene drives in mosquitos. I joined the BBSRC DTP in October 2018, starting with a rotation with Dr Keith Gardner in NIAB looking at QTL mapping for yellow rust resistance traits in wheat. My second rotation was supervised by Dr Nik Cunniffe in the Department of Plant Sciences. 
Postgraduate Student

Contact Details

Email address: 
Department of Plant Sciences,
Downing Street,
Cambridge,
CB2 3EA
01223 748957