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Maths, disease and the British landscape: informing UK government policy through epidemiological models

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How does a national government cope with the threat of a new pest or disease that affects its native trees, plants and natural environment? How can decisions be made on control, surveillance and management when knowledge about these systems is poor? The epidemiology and modelling group in the department of plant sciences has been working with Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for several years helping address these questions by developing models for the spread and control of environmental diseases at a national scale that can be used to inform policy. This presentation will describe the theory behind the models as well as looking at recent case studies, including Ramorum disease, Ash dieback, Oriental Chestnut Gall Wasp and Oak Processionary Moth (probably diseases you’ve never heard of!).

This talk is part of the Trinity College Science Society (TCSS) series.

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