PhD project: Mathematical and statistical challenges of gastroenteritis surveillance
I am a PhD student on the Complexity Science Doctoral Training Program at the University of Warwick, and in the Zeeman Institute: SBIDER. I am working on my PhD project with Thomas House and the Real-time Syndromic Surveillance Team at Public Health England, using mathematical and statistical methods to develop syndromic surveillance systems of gastrointestinal illness. During the second year of my PhD I was on placement with the Real-time Syndromic Surveillance Team in Birmingham.
From March 2017 I will additionally be a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Manchester on the EPSRC-funded project Operationalising Modern Mathematical Epidemiology with Thomas House and Tim Kinyanjui.
Research internship: modelling VL in Brazil
I worked with Orin Courtenay and Erin Dilger, from the School of Life Sciences, and fellow mathematical modeller Edward Hill, on a four month research internship (June-September 2016) developing a mathematical model of visceral leishmaniasis in Brazil; a vector borne disease with an animal reservoir. This will be used to inform intervention strategies.
- E. Buckingham-Jeffery, R. Morbey, T. House, A. J. Elliot, S. Harcourt, G. E. Smith. (May 2017) Correcting for day of the week and public holiday effects: improving a national dailysyndromic surveillance service for detecting public health threats. BMC Public Health, 17:477, DOI: 10.1186/s12889-017-4372-y
- T.House, A.Ford, S.Lan, S.Bilson, E.Buckingham-Jeffery, M.A.Girolami. (August 2016) Bayesian Uncertainty Quantification for Transmissability of Influenza, Norovirus, and Ebola using Information Geometry. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2016.0279
- mathematical epidemiology,
- statistical methods for data analysis with applications to public health,
- mathematical models of real-world systems.
Other Complex Activities
- In 2017 I completed the Postgraduate Certificate: Transferable Skills in Science at the University of Warwick. This is a three year qualification during which I took modules in team building, scientific writing and communication with non-specialists, and development of doctoral skills.
- In 2017 I was awarded the Postgraduate Award: Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (pass with merit) by the University of Warwick. This is accredited by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and gives me Associate Fellowship status. I attended workshops in teaching and learning and completed a reflective portfolio.
Awards and grants:
- Awarded a bursary (£300) from the Warwick Research Student Skills Programme to organise a student-led event, January 2017.
- Recipient of a full conference grant (£250) from the Royal Statistical Society to attend the 2016 RSS International Conference, September 2016.
- Finalist in the University of Warwick Three Minute Thesis competition 2016.
- Recipient of an ESMTB travel grant (€500) to support attendance at the MathCompEpi 2015 conference in Erice, Sicily.
- Recipient of a runner up prize (£50) at the Postgraduate Research Showcase poster competition at University of Warwick, June 2015.
- Recipient of the Work Experience Bursary (£200) from the University of Warwick to support my secondment at Public Health England.
- Substitute lecturer for 'Multivariate Statistics' for undergraduate and MSc students in the School of Mathematics, University of Manchester. Fully prepared and delivered two lectures.
- Seminar tutor for 'Business Statistics' for students on the MSc in Business Analytics, Warwick Business School, 2016. Included marking coursework.
- Guest lecturer on the 'Food & environmental borne disease diagnosis, surveillance & outbreak investigation' professional development module for Public Health England employees, School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, 2016. Prepared and delivered lectures.
- Lab assistant for 'Big Data Analytics' in Warwick Business School for students on the MSc in Business, Warwick Business School, 2016.
- Seminar tutor for 'Quantitative Analysis for Management 1' for 1st year students on the BSc in Management/International Management course, Warwick Business School, 2014, 2015, 2016. Included planning and delivering a 2-hour revision session and marking exams
- Seminar tutor for 'Multivariate Statistics', Warwick Business School for 1st year PhD students, 2015.
Organisation and administration:
- Co-organiser of the joint University of Melbourne - University of Manchester Research Workshop "New approaches to infectious disease modelling for epidemiological understanding and public health impact", University of Manchester, 3rd-4th July 2017.
- Co-organiser of Warwick Databeers.
- Part of the organising committee for the Centre for Complexity Science Annual Retreat, 2013 and 2016.
- Co-organiser (with fellow PhD student Edward Hill) of a two-day workshop at the University of Warwick 'Mathematical Challenges of Long Epidemic Time-Series' featuring speakers from a range of European Universities.
- Co-organiser (with fellow PhD student Edward Hill) of a workshop at the University of Warwick as part of the Warwick Data Science Institute (WDSI) Year of Big Data. The event 'Big Data and Google Flu' featured speakers from Public Health England, Google, and prominent British Universities.
- Staff-Student Liaison Committee cohort representative for the academic year 2013-2014.
- University of Manchester Science Busker at the Science Spectacular.
- I took part in the outreach event "I'm a scientists get me out of here" funded by the Wellcome Trust. Over a 2 week period during June 2017, I answered questions from school students about my research, epidemics, and life as a scientist. The students voted me as their favourite scientist (£500 prize).
- Outreach talk on disease surveillance to 16-18 year olds at City College Coventry, June 2016
- Mentor for undergraduate research students on the Undergraduate Research Support Scheme (URSS) on poster design and creation, summer 2015.
- Volunteered at the Big Bang Science Fair 2014- a National event designed to demonstrate to school children the real scale and potential of the Science, Engineering, Maths and Technology subjects they learn at school.
Reading and writing:
- Reviewed papers for the journals Mathematical Medicine and Biology and Plos One. Reviewed abstracts for the International Society for Disease Surveillance annual conference 2018.
- Wrote an article on Syndromic Surveillance for the third edition of the Centre for Complexity Science newsletter.
- Founding student editor of the bi-annual Centre for Complexity Science newsletter. The first two editions can be found here and here.
- Member of an epidemiology reading group. Get in touch if you would like to join us!
- Part of the University mountaineering club Warwick Mountains since 2012.
- Organised day, weekend, and week long mountaineering trips for the club all over the UK.
- Designed, purchased, marketed, and sold club branded hoodies, t-shirts, Sigg bottles, and hip flasks during 2013.
Previously, I gained a Distinction in the MSc year of the Doctoral Training Program. This included six months of taught courses and two miniprojects - 3 month projects designed to introduce us to the world of academic research.
- My first miniproject was titled "Refugee Status and Chronic Illness in Rural South Africa."
- My second miniproject was titled "Aligning Predicted and Actual Maternity Services"
In July 2012 I graduated from the University of Warwick with a first class undergraduate Masters degree in Mathematics. My final year project was an implementation of the Knuth-Bendix completion process in C.
- The Knuth-Bendix completion process is a rewriting method which takes as an input a finite monoid presentation M = Mon<A|R>. If the process terminates the output is a complete rewriting system made up of a finite number of rewrite rules. These rewrite rules enable us to be able to reduce any word over A to its normal form, and hence solve the word problem in that monoid.
During 2011 I completed a research internship at Lancaster University. I worked on bilevel optimisation with Dr Konstantinos Kaparis, based in the management school.
- Bilevel problems appear in areas such as economics, engineering, medicine and ecology. They are a type of optimisation problem where included as part of the constraints is a second optimisation problem. This internship was completed as part of the STOR-i internship programme. You can view my poster and presentation on their website.