Dr Alex Best - Infectious Disease Dynamics Group

Links: Research | People | News | Publications | Teaching

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.

Jaspreet Toor - PhD Student (2013 - )
The evolution of hosts and parasites in complex communities
My research is in mathematical biology, more specifically, I use mathematical models to study the evolutionary and population dynamics of hosts and parasites in ecological communities. Host-parasite systems have been well studied but wider community interactions, such as predation, have often been overlooked. I study the evolution of host-parasite systems with the inclusion of a predator population. I completed my Honours BSc in Mathematics & Statistics at McMaster University (Canada). I returned to England in 2013 to start my PhD in Sheffield supervised by Dr. Alex Best

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.

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