Workshop on Animal and Plant Health Modelling

Following a successful meeting of the Scottish Mathematical Biology Network in 2014, we held a Workshop on Animal and Plant Health Modelling in Stirling on May 27th, 2015. The theme of this meeting was cross-fertilisation between animal and plant health modelling, inspired partially by a recent Defra report on building capacity in these areas.

Plant and animal health modelling use a variety of mathematical methods, and provide not only fertile ground for interesting and high-impact mathematical applications, but also inspire new and elegant mathematics.

In addition to mathematical methods, modelling increasingly requires computational approaches. Agent-based micro-simulation, approximate Bayesian computation, and high-performance computing have contributed to this growing field.

We heard about a variety of research approaches, with lots of time for informal discussion and exploration of possible future collaborations.

There were invited plenary speakers: one on plant health modelling, one on animal health modelling, and one from the Scottish Government on strategic thinking for funding in this area, as well as a variety of speakers on scientific topics. The speakers were as follows: 

  • Rowland Kao, University of Glasgow
    • Challenges and opportunities of animal health modelling
  • Michael Shaw, University of Reading
    • Challenges and opportunities of plant health modelling
  • Rodney Beard, University of Glasgow
    • Diagnostic test adoption for sheep-scab: a differential game approach
  • Nia Ball, Scottish Government
    • Using modelling outputs in informing animal health policy – a perspective from the Scottish Government
  • Andrew Bate, University of York
    • Modelling the impact and control of an infectious disease in a plant nursery with infected plant material inputs
  • Jamie Prentice, University of Glasgow
    • The perturbation effect in wildlife diseases
  • Morag Macpherson, University of Stirling
    • The effect of disease on the optimal rotation length of an even-aged, public forest
  • Richard Reeve, University of Glasgow
    • Choosing vaccines to control antigenically variable RNA viruses
  • Adam Klezckowski, University of Stirling
    • Challenges and opportunities in plant and animal health modelling

This meeting was supported by the Boyd Orr Centre for Population and Ecosystem Health, the University of Stirling, the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, and SICSA.

Organisers: Jess Enright, Adam Kleczkowski