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Robin Thompson, 2nd year

Robin ThompsonMy name's Robin, and I'm in the Theoretical and Computational Epidemiology Group, supervised by Dr Nik Cunniffe and Professor Chris Gilligan. Having studied maths as an undergraduate, I wanted to apply the skills that I had learnt to a real-world application that has a positive impact on people's lives. Predicting the spread of crop disease is an interesting way to do this, and could have a large impact on the world, since around 14% of crops are lost to disease (at an annual worldwide cost of around £150 billion). With global food security concerns, especially in developing countries, and increasing rates of population growth, these problems will probably get worse unless we use mathematical modelling!

The Department of Plant Sciences is a friendly place to work, and I have made many friends here - the weekly departmental beer (or sangria...) hour certainly helps! The collegiate system also provides an opportunity to make friends that study in different fields. I have also been lucky to have the opportunity to attend two conferences, one of which was in Brazil, and I have also enjoyed the chance to teach undergraduates in both natural sciences and maths. I would recommend a move to Cambridge, and to our department in particular.