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Department of Plant Sciences

 

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. 

Research

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. 

I am particularly interested in how tools from game theory can be used to assess the success or practicability of Area-Wide Pest Management (AWPM) schemes, such as the Citrus Health Management Areas (CHMAs) currently running in the United States. 

 

 

Teaching and Supervisions

Teaching: 

I supervised Part II psychology students in their statistics modules for Homerton. 

Postgraduate Student
Ms Rachel  Murray-Watson

Contact Details

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