Ross Davidson

Dr

  • Easter Bush, Roslin Institute Building

    EH25 9RG Midlothian

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

20062021

Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

  • Simulation and mathematical models
  • Epidemiology applied to livestock, wildlife, crop and plant disease
  • Statistics, particularly applying Bayesian inference to large scale simulational models

Biography

While studying for my PhD in Theoretical Physics at the University of Manchester, most of my research was in the area of Non-equilibrium Statistical Physics, particularly looking at ‘state selection’ probabilities in stochastic systems.

During this time I became interested in the application of mathematical techniques to problems in biology when we applied these techniques to a model of two species competing for a shared resource. State selection in this context is the evaluation of the probability that each species wins, a problem which inherently depends on the stochastic nature of the system, particularly when the populations are small, and the evaluation of these probabilities involves using path integral techniques, among other approximations, on the stochastic differential equations that govern the system.

After a short period working on database development in Italy I joined BioSS (Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland), with whom I retain extensive collaborations, and later moved to SRUC. The applicability of my previous experience and the interests of people working at Bioss and SRUC led my research into epidemiology and specifically population level disease modelling, which has remained my focus.

Through the course of my research I have been involved in collaborations with researchers from a number of other institutions, including Bioss, the University of York, Heriot Watt University, the University of Nottingham, the Roslin Institute, the University of Glasgow and a number of European universities and research institutes through projects under the EU Framework programmes.

Teaching

  • SRUC Applied Animal Science BSc: Research Skills and Statistics, Course Organiser (ongoing)
  • SRUC Applied Animal Science BSc: Advanced Research Methods, Course Organiser (ongoing)
  • SRUC Applied Animal Science BSc: Epidemiology (ongoing)
  • University of Edinburgh BSc in Global Agriculture and Food Security: Professional Skills 2, Course organiser (ongoing)
  • University of Edinburgh BSc in Global Agriculture and Food Security: Professional Skills 3, Contributor (ongoing)
  • University of Edinburgh MSc in Veterinary Epidemiology: R for Veterinary Epidemiology, Course organiser (ongoing)
  • University of Edinburgh MSc in Veterinary Epidemiology: Research Skills and Statistics, Course organiser (ongoing)
  • University of Edinburgh MSc in Veterinary Epidemiology: Modelling disease systems and control, Course organiser (ongoing)
  • University of Edinburgh M.Sc. in OneHealth: Delivery and development of “Modelling biological processes” module (2012-14)

Supervision

1.    Martin Burke 
Joint studentship with BioSS and the University of York. Stochastic systems approaches to disease control (ongoing)
2.    Lee Benson 
Joint studentship with BioSS and the University of Stirling. Mathematical and statistical tools to quantify disease in aquaculture (2021)
3.    Martin Knight 
Joint studentship with BioSS and the University of York. Stochastic systems approaches to biosecurity and disease control (2021)
4.    Zara Gerrard 
Joint studentship with University of Nottingham. Impact of new methods of detecting Mycobacterium paratuberculosis on control of Johne's disease in cattle (2018)
5.    Gustaf Rydevik
Joint studentship with BioSS and the University of York. Hindcasting trends of infection using cross-sectional diagnostic data (2015)
6.    Morag Macpherson
Joint studentship with Heriot-Watt University. Deterministic and stochastic population modelling with application to both the maternal effects hypothesis and spatial models of red squirrel populations on Arran (2014)
7.    Laura Walton
Joint studentship with BioSS and the University of York. Modelling the effects of ecology on wildlife disease surveillance (2014)
8.    Naomi Fox
Joint studentship with BioSS and the University of York. Predicting impacts of climate change on livestock parasites (2012)
9.    Jamie Prentice
Joint studentship with BioSS and the University of York. The perturbation effect in wildlife systems: An emergent property of simple models (2012)
10.    Leo Zijerveld 
Joint studentship with BioSS and the University of Edinburgh. Integrated modelling and Bayesian inference applied to population and disease dynamics in wildlife: M.Bovis in Badgers in Woodchester Park (2012)

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Manchester

Award Date: 23 Jul 2003

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