The Risk Analysis & Modelling Collaborating Centre comprises internationally-recognised experts from both the APHA and RVC.

Dr Jenny Stewart - Chair of the Governing Board

Dr Jenny Stewart

Chair of the Governing Board

Dr Jenny Stewart is the Science and Transformation Director at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), which is part of the UK Government Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). She is Chair of the Governing Board of the WOAH Collaborating Centre for Risk Analysis and Modelling. Prior to her current position Jenny worked in a range of scientific and corporate positions in central government and higher education. She currently leads a multi-disciplinary team of 800 scientists, working collaboratively with multiple partners nationally and internationally. The team is geographically dispersed at a dozen specialist sites across Great Britain. APHA undertakes R&D, surveillance and provides specialist services and advice to various parts of UK government, NGOs and industry. APHA also plays a key international role, hosting numerous world reference centre facilities. The nature of the work requires a range of experts and specialist facilities. The science headquarters at Weybridge provides the UK’s primary capability for managing the extensive and continuously evolving threats posed by the spread of high risk diseases carried by animals.

Dick Heederik - Member of the Governing Board

Dick Heederik is professor of One Health Risk Analysis and chairman of the Netherlands Centre for One Health.

Professor Dominic Mellor - Member of the Governing Board

Prof Dominic Mellor

Member of the Governing Board

Dominic Mellor is employed as Professor of Epidemiology and Veterinary Public Health at the School of Biodiversity, One Health and Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow. Currently, the majority of Dominic’s time is provided to Public Health Scotland under a formal Service Level Agreement, where he has the role of Consultant in Veterinary Public Health. The majority of this work revolves around contributing to and facilitating a ‘One Health’ approach to zoonotic diseases and to antimicrobial resistance in Scotland and UK. Dominic was Director of EPIC (Scottish Government’s Centre of Expertise on Animal Disease Outbreaks) from 2016-2022. Dominic became a member of the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) Science Advisory Board in 2022.

Professor Javier Guitian - Member of the Governing Board and Institute Lead (RVC)

Javier Guitian
Prof Javier Guitian

Professor of Veterinary Public Health

Javier obtained a veterinary degree and a PhD in epidemiology from Universidad de Santiago de Compostela. He also has an MSc in Data Analytics. He worked three years in the private sector before joining the RVC, where he is Professor of Veterinary Public Health. He acts as consultant epidemiologist to the UK Animal and Plant Health Agency and as Head of the RVC’s FAO Reference Centre in Veterinary Epidemiology.

Institute Lead (RVC)

Christine Middlemis - Member of the Governing Board

Christine Middlemiss
Christine Middlemiss

Member of the Governing Board

Christine Middlemiss is the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer.  She was appointed on 1 March 2018 having been working as the CVO in New South Wales, Australia since July 2016 where she led major improvements to biosecurity across many farming sectors. This work included implementation of new outcome focused, risk based biosecurity legislation; online animal certification processes; improving evidence and risk based disease control approaches. Prior to moving to Australia, Christine led Defra’s Animal Traceability and Public Health policy team, and also previously surveillance including detection and response to new and emerging diseases such as Schmallenberg and Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea. She is an experienced veterinarian. Before joining the UK government services in 2008, Christine worked in private practice with specific interest in research, meat processing and livestock genetics for a number of years in Scotland and the north of England prior to joining the Animal Health Agency (now part of Animal and Plant Health Agency) as a Divisional Veterinary Manager in Scotland. Christine comes from a farming family in the Borders of Scotland, with a background in beef cattle and sheep. In August 2019, Christine was appointed the role of Visiting Professor of Practice at Harper Adams University

Professor Stuart WJ Reid - Member of the Govening Board and Head of Centre

Stuart Reid
Prof Stuart WJ Reid

President & Principal of the RVC

Stuart Reid is Principal of the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), University of London. An alumnus of the University of Glasgow, he became one of its youngest professors in 1996 and Dean in 2005 before moving to the RVC in 2011.

Stuart is a RCVS recognised specialist in veterinary epidemiology and in veterinary public health by the European Board of Veterinary Specialists, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. His research interests are focused on zoonotic disease and antimicrobial resistance. He has over 160 scientific publications, most recently in PNAS and Science, and has secured over £15m in competitive funding.

Stuart was President of the RCVS in 2014-15. He has also been president of the European College of Veterinary Public Health and Hon Secretary of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. In his public service, he has been a trustee of The Donkey Sanctuary since 1996 and Chairman of Trustees since 2007. He is a Trustee of the University of London and sits on the Board of the Food Standards Agency in the UK.

Stuart has been recognised for his work by industry (Pfizer, Petplan Charitable Trust), the profession (the British Veterinary Association’s Wooldridge Medal and the Dalrymple-Champneys Cup), his alma mater (the McCall Lecture, University of Glasgow) and his discipline in the UK, EU and USA.

He was made a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2018 for services to the veterinary profession and higher education and a member of the National Academy of Medicine in the United States in 2019.

Head of Centre

Professor Emma Snary - Member of the Governing Board and Institute Lead (APHA)

Emma Snary
Dr Emma Snary

Head of Epidemiological Sciences

Emma joined the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) as a risk analyst after completing a PhD in mathematical modelling at Cardiff University. She has now worked in the field of risk assessment as applied to animal health and veterinary public health for over 20 years and has extensive experience of working within national and international research projects, the provision of scientific evidence for policy formulation and outbreak response.

She has many scientific publications in the field of risk assessment and is co-author of a book chapter on risk assessment for antimicrobial resistance. When she has a chance, Emma enjoys teaching and is a tutor on the European Food Risk Assessment Fellowship (EU-FORA) programme, which is an initiative led by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). She is a past-member of the EFSA BIOHAZ Panel; providing risk assessment expertise in the area of microbiological risk assessment.

In addition to her risk assessment activities, Emma is the Head of Epidemiological Sciences at APHA and takes responsibility for the management, training and development of 75 risk analysts, modellers, epidemiologists, statisticians and data managers within her department. She is also an Honorary Professor at the RVC.

Institute Lead (APHA)

Andy Mitchell - Data Modelling (APHA)

Andy Mitchell
Andy Mitchell

Workgroup Leader for the Data Systems Group

Andy is the Workgroup Leader for the Data Systems Group, part of the Department of Epidemiological Science (DES) at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) based at Weybridge, Surrey, UK.

The Data Systems group consist of 20 people in all and includes: database programmers; data managers and Geographic Information System (GIS) staff. The group has experience of the data associated with a range of Animal Health disease areas including: TB, TSE and Food and Environmental Safety. It is responsible for full lifecycle software development and the data management of live systems in both a research and surveillance settings e.g. Scrapie surveillance, the Badger Vaccine Efficacy Trial and the www.ibtb system.

The group liaises with Epidemiologists, Modellers and Statisticians over their analysis requirements and make use of a variety of technologies including SQL Server, MS Access, dot NET and ArcGIS. Andy has worked at the VLA for over 25 years as both a programmer and manager and has considerable experience in the management and development of UK Animal Health systems. He has particular expertise in the areas of TB, cattle movement systems, Veterinary clinical trials and Geographical information Systems (GIS) developments.

Andy has been a guest lecturer at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), lecturing on Animal Health Data Systems and was a member of the European Food Standards Agency (EFSA) IT working group on Data Warehousing and Web Reporting.

Workstream: Data Modelling

Dr Kim Stevens - Data Modelling (RVC)

Kim Stevens
Dr Kim Stevens

Senior Lecturer in Spatial Epidemiology

With a PhD (University of London) in spatial epidemiology which focused on spatial and ecological niche modelling methods and their use as risk-based decision-making tools for informing disease control and surveillance efforts, it is not surprising that Kim’s research interests focus on the predictive mapping of disease and landscape epidemiology.

In addition to the publication of many peer-reviewed journal articles in this field, Kim has also co-authored a book (Spatial Analysis in Epidemiology) and book chapter (The role of spatial analysis in risk-based animal disease management; In: Handbook of Spatial Epidemiology). Together with spatial modelling, Kim is an expert in all things to do with data and likes nothing more than the challenge of designing complex relational databases.

Kim is a statistical consultant for the journal Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia and Course Director for the RVC’s MSc in Veterinary Epidemiology.

Workstream: Data Modelling

Dr Pablo Alarcon-Lopez - Economic Modelling (RVC)

Pablo Alarcon-Lopez
Dr Pablo Alarcon-Lopez

Senior Lecturer in Animal Health Economics

Pablo graduated in Veterinary Medicine in 2005 by the University of Cordoba, Spain. He undertook a MSc in veterinary epidemiology at the RVC and, subsequently, worked in the epidemiology division of the same institution for two years before starting his PhD in September 2009. For his PhD he investigated the epidemiological and economic impact of porcine post-weaning multi-systemic wasting syndrome in England. In addition, his research also focused on the investigation of pig farmers' decision-making process for disease control.

He graduated from his PhD in 2012. He then started a post-doctoral research fellowship in food systems at the RVC and at the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH). He investigated the livestock value chains operating in Nairobi, Kenya, and their role in emergence of food safety risks and in the city’s food security. He also continued developing economic models to assess disease impact and effectiveness of interventions for other animal diseases, such as Schmallenberg and PRRS.

In 2016, he joined the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) as a veterinary epidemiologist, where he provided epidemiological support on the design and analysis of livestock disease surveillance, and for outbreak investigations. In particular, he provided support to the European Union reference laboratory for Avian Influenza and TSEs, and in the development of antimicrobial resistance research projects. In 2017, he started a position as Lecturer in Animal Health Economics at the RVC, and since 2020 the course director of the MSc in One Health. His work currently focus on assessing economic burden of disease, analysis of business strategic behaviours for disease control and the development of economic decision support tools for disease control to help to improve food safety, food security, and to optimize production processes and animal welfare

Workstream: Economic Modelling

Dr Barbara Häsler - Economic Modelling (RVC)

Barbara Häsler
Dr Barbara Häsler

Senior Lecturer in Agrihealth

Barbara Häsler is an animal health researcher at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in London and the London Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH), with expertise in animal health economics, evaluation and food systems.

Her main area of interest is the integration of economic, social and epidemiological aspects in animal disease mitigation to provide practical and feasible tools that support decision-makers in the efficient allocation of resources. She is particularly committed to the development of interdisciplinary frameworks that support appropriate surveillance and intervention programmes for the control of foodborne and zoonotic diseases in food systems.

She holds a post-graduate certificate in higher education in economics, a PhD in animal health economics, a doctorate in veterinary epidemiology and economics and a veterinary degree. She has played an active and leading role in the establishment and/or running of a range of international consortia, which contributed to advancing animal health and One Health economics. She leads the module Economics of One Health in the MSc courses Veterinary Epidemiology and One Health and regularly offers economics and food systems training to various audiences.

Workstream: Economic Modelling

Dr Robin Simons - Economic Modelling (APHA)

Robin Simons
Robin Simons

Senior Risk Analyst

After a PhD (University of Surrey) in applied mathematics focussing on the dynamics of blowfly strikes on sheep, Robin joined the risk assessment workgroup at the APHA (then VLA), where he enjoys the diverse work undertaken and the freedom to work on novel methodologies.

Robin has experience developing qualitative risk assessments, having in the past lectured on them as part of the RVC's MsC in Veterinary Epidemiology, but his primary focus has been research projects that take a more quantitative approach. Robin has worked on developing on-farm transmission models for pigs, species distribution models for mosquitoes and has recently been working on developing generic approaches for risk assessment of infectious animal diseases.

Robin has also worked on integrating the results of risk assessments with economic data to produce cost-benefit analyses for UK Salmonella control strategies and is currently further developing these methods with European partners as part of the One Health European Joint Programme. Robin has published a number of peer reviewed journal articles and is only slightly disappointed that his review papers remain more popular than his ones on technical methods.

Workstream: Economic Modelling

Dr Julian Drewe - Epidemiological & Statistical Modelling (RVC)

Julian Drewe
Dr Julian Drewe

Associate Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology

Julian is an Associate Professor in Veterinary Epidemiology within the VEEPH group at the RVC (see our recent publications here). He is an RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Epidemiology, a European Veterinary Specialist in Wildlife Population Health, and a scientific expert on the Animal Health and Welfare Panel of the European Food Safety Authority which conducts rapid risk assessments and provides recommendations for managing the latest important disease threats to the region, such as African Swine Fever and Avian Influenza.

He is the RVC lead for Epidemiological and Statistical Modelling in the OIE Collaborating Centre for Risk Analysis & Modelling. Julian conducts epidemiological research of animal and human diseases, particularly involving health surveillance and wildlife diseases. He is interested in understanding the effects of uncertainty and biases in decision-making processes for disease management. 

Workstream: Epidemiological & Statistical Modelling

Dr Jessica Parry - Epidemiological & Statistical Modelling (APHA)

Jessica Parry
Jessica Parry

Epidemiology Workgroup Leader

Jessica is the workgroup leader for Epidemiology within the Department of Epidemiological Sciences (DES) at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) based at Weybridge, Surrey, UK.

The Epidemiology workgroup is a team of 16 scientists and vets leading and contributing to epidemiological research and surveillance of pathogens of UK livestock providing scientific evidence to support disease surveillance and control monitoring and decision making. The group works on a large number of diseases including salmonella, bovine tuberculosis, avian influenza and antimicrobial resistance within a number of bacterial species. Within the profile of projects the group collaborates and partners with a number of external organisations nationally and internationally including universities and livestock industry bodies.

The epidemiological workgroup also provides support to exotic disease outbreak response. Jessica has been working in the area of bovine TB epidemiology at APHA for 10 years and has been involved in multi-disciplinary projects including the scientific publication of research on testing strategies for bovine tuberculosis and monitoring and assessing the effects of disease control policies.

Workstream: Epidemiological & Statistical Modelling

Dr Mark Arnold - Mathematical Modelling (APHA)

Mark Arnold
Dr Mark Arnold

Mark joined the APHA in 1999 after a PhD and post-doctoral position at the University of Leicester and now leads the modelling team within the Department of Epidemiological Sciences at the Animal and Plant Health Agency.

His research works involves both building infectious disease models and analysis of surveillance and experimental data, with a focus on producing practical recommendations to inform government policy.  He has co-authored over 80 research articles on a wide range of animal pathogens. His team have built a number of national scale transmission models for both exotic and endemic pathogens, including avian influenza, Rift Valley fever, bovine TB, African swine fever and Salmonella. In addition Mark also has considerable expertise in parameter estimation, including maximum likelihood and Bayesian approaches, which have been applied to a range of experimental and surveillance data sets.

Dr Graham Smith - Mathematical Modelling (APHA)

Graham Smith
Graham Smith

Lead Scientist for Wildlife

Graham is both a theoretical and applied biologist, having gained a PhD (University of Bristol) in the spatial modelling of rabies in the red fox.

On joining APHA (MAFF as it was then) he took on responsibility for the contingency planning of wildlife rabies. He has since been involved in modelling bovine TB in badgers and cattle, various exotic wildlife diseases, surveillance for exotic diseases, modelling species distributions and citizen science data collection. His main expertise is in providing modelling output and interpretation of results for decision making across government and working hand in hand with field biologists to fill data gaps identified with the models.

He co-edited “Management of Disease in Wild Mammals” and has written over 200 scientific papers and book chapters. Graham is also currently a council member of the Mammal Society, a director of MammalWeb a citizen science image collection web portal, and teaches on an MSc in Wildlife Management at Newcastle University. He previously held the role of Lead Scientist for TB.

Workstream: Mathematical Modelling

Dr Martin Walker - Mathematical Modelling (RVC)

Martin Walker
Dr Martin Walker

Lecturer in Epidemiology

Martin is a Lecturer in Epidemiology at the Royal Veterinary College, an Honorary Lecturer in Epidemiology at Imperial College London and a Senior Scientist at the Infectious Disease Data Observatory. He is an active member of the London Centre for Neglected Tropical Disease Research and the Neglected Tropical Disease Modelling Consortium.

Martin is a mathematical epidemiologist interested in the control and elimination of tropical and zoonotic infectious diseases. He has an MA in Biological Sciences from the University of Oxford, an MSc in the Control of Infectious Diseases from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a PhD in Infectious Disease Epidemiology from Imperial College London.

Before joining the Royal Veterinary College, Martin worked at Imperial College London developing infectious disease transmission models to inform public health decision making on intervention strategies aiming to eliminate tropical diseases.

Workstream: Mathematical Modelling

Dr Lucy Brunton - Risk Analysis (RVC)

Lucy Brunton
Dr Lucy Brunton

Lecturer in Molecular Epidemiology

Lucy obtained her degree in microbiology from the University of Leeds in 2006, where she then took up a BPEX sponsored PhD to investigate the effect of rearing environment on the incidence of zoonotic bacteria in pigs.

After completing her PhD in 2010, Lucy joined the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (now APHA) as an epidemiological scientist where she conducted research in the areas of food-borne disease and antimicrobial resistance and led the production of a number of reports for EFSA.

In 2014 Lucy was promoted to epidemiologist and expanded her research interests to bovine tuberculosis. She conducted research in to the factors associated with the spread of bovine TB in England and Wales, and was responsible for the production of bovine TB epidemiology and surveillance reports for Wales.

Lucy completed a Masters in veterinary epidemiology at the RVC in 2017. She joined the VEEPH group at the RVC in February 2017 to develop molecular epidemiological expertise in the areas of antimicrobial resistance and bovine tuberculosis.

Workstream: Risk Analysis

Dr Louise Kelly - Risk Analysis (APHA)

Louise Kelly
Louise Kelly

Louise holds a BSc (Hons) in Mathematical Sciences and a PhD in Mathematical and Statistical Modelling. The topic of her PhD was modelling the growth and spread of Listeria monocytogenes in silage. This PhD sparked her interest in applying mathematics and statistics to animal health issues and so she began her career in Risk Assessment with APHA.

She has been a risk assessor with APHA for 23 years and in that time has worked on projects relating to many animal and public health issues. She was part of the WHO/FAO collaborating team on the development of international risk assessments for salmonella and has been involved in numerous projects for OIE and EFSA.

Teaching of risk assessment methodology has also been a large part of her work with APHA and she has delivered courses nationally and internationally for WHO/FAO, the OIE, EFSA and industry. Her love of teaching led her to take up a part-time position at a university and she now holds a joint-appointment with APHA and the University of Strathclyde where she is a Senior Lecturer in Statistics. Her research interests at Strathclyde are closely aligned with her APHA work.

Workstream: Risk Analysis

Dr Matteo Crotta

Matteo Crotta
Dr Matteo Crotta

Dr Matteo Crotta will be maternity cover for Dr Lucy Brunton. Matteo obtained a degree in Animal Husbandry Sciences and Technologies at the Veterinary faculty of the University of Milan in 2012 and the Postgraduate Certificate in Risk Analysis in Health and Food Safety at the RVC in 2014. After completing the PhD in 2015 with a project presenting the use of probabilistic models as a tool for the animal-derived food safety management, he joined the VEEPH group at the RVC. Matteo is the lead risk analyst for a range of food safety consultancies and research projects at both a national and international level. His research aims at using qualitative and quantitative risk modelling frameworks to provide evidence in support decision-making under uncertainty in the context of food-safety. As risk analyst, Matteo is also member of working groups at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Since 2018 Matteo is involved in the delivery of either online and traditional courses on Risk Analysis, these have taken place in China, Jordan, India and Italy where in 2019 he was appointed as visiting professor in risk analysis for the University of Milan.

Dr Rachel Taylor

Matteo Crotta
Dr Rachel Taylor

Rachel joined the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) in 2017 after postdoctoral research at the University of South Florida, USA, investigating the impact of temperature on vector-borne diseases and the effectiveness of different control strategies. Her PhD from Heriot-Watt University, UK, explored the effect of seasonal changes on population dynamics. She now leads the Biomathematics and Risk Research workgroup, a group of approximately 20 risk analysts, mathematical modellers and statisticians, within the Department of Epidemiological Sciences.

Her research focuses on primarily quantitative risk assessment, building models of disease incursion and infection, with a continued interest in the role of temperature, seasonality, and climate change and how they affect incursion. She has experience in building models across a wide spectrum of diseases in animal, human and plant health. These models are often generic risk frameworks for assessing spatial hotspots of disease incursion for multiple diseases and across multiple pathways. Recently, she has built models for SARS-CoV-2 introduction into the UK, transmission of African Swine Fever by wild boar, and spatial risk of West Nile Virus across Europe.

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