Dr Alex Best - Infectious Disease Dynamics Group

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Charlotte, Alex and Jaspreet at ECMTB 2016.

Alex Best - Group Leader & Lecturer
My research interests cover the dynamics of infectious diseases at a range of biological scales, from the interactions between pathogens and immune cells within hosts, to the population dynamics of ecological populations faced with disease, to the co-evolution of hosts and their parasites. The majority of my time is spent studying the latter of these issues. In particular I am interested in how the evolution of host defences and their coevolution with parasite infectivity feedback to, and are driven by, the underlying population dynamics.

After gaining a BSc in Maths & Philosophy (Durham) and an MRes in Mathematical Biology (York), I studied for my PhD in the Animal & Plant Sciences department at Sheffield under the supervision of Prof. Mike Boots. Postdocs in Sheffield (Animal & Plant Sciences) and Exeter (Biosciences) followed. In 2013 I returned to Sheffield but across the road in the School of Mathematics & Statistics as a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow. In September 2016 I was appointed a lecturer.

Charlotte Ferris - PhD Student (2015 - )
The evolution of host defence in variable environments
I study infectious disease dynamics in seasonal environments. In particular, I am investigating the effect of including a variable environment on the underlying dynamics and on the evolution of host defence to a parasite. Before coming to Sheffield, I completed my undergraduate and masters in Mathematics at Newnham College, University of Cambridge.

Caterina Vitale - PhD Student (2016 - )
The evolution of host tolerance

Charlotte Ward - PhD Student (2017 - )
Modelling the dynamics of climate sensitive infections
I am studying the dynamics of infectious diseases in animals and will be exploring how these diseases are spreading in relation to climate change. I completed my undergraduate and masters in Mathematics at the University of Sheffield; this study period included a year at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada.

Former Students
Jaspreet Toor - PhD Student (2013 - 2016)
The evolution of hosts and parasites in complex communities
Now a PDRA at Imperial.

Nice People We Often Work With
Prof. Mike Boots (Biosciences, Exeter)
Prof. Andy White (Mathematics, Heriot-Watt)
Prof. Angus Buckling (Biosciences, Exeter)