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Dr Stephen Parnell

Associate Professor


phone: 024 765 75192

Office (W): PPB 1.29

Twitter: @parnells

Research Clusters

Plant & Agricultural Biosciences

Microbiology & Infectious Diseases

Quantitative, Systems & Engineering Biology

Warwick Centres and GRPs

Zeeman Institute

Vacancies and Opportunities

For PhD and postdoctoral opportunities, and interest in potential collaborations, please contact me at the above email address.

Research Interests

I am a plant disease epidemiologist and modeller based at the Warwick Crop Centre and Zeeman Institute for infectious disease epidemiology.

Epidemics of plant destroying pests and diseases are on the rise due to the ever-increasing movement of people and plants around the planet. These pests and diseases can destroy plants in natural environments, such as forests, or in agricultural crops, impacting our ability to produce food.

We develop mathematical and computer models of how these pests and diseases spread through plant populations and use the models to test out strategies to detect and control them.

Research: Technical Summary

We use a range of epidemiological models, linked with data, to better understand the processes that determine the invasion and spread of plant pathogens and insect pest populations. Models range from systems of ODEs to stochastic spatially-explicit simulation models. A key practical focus is the optimisation of strategies for the detection and control of epidemics. Recent pests and diseases of focus include Ash dieback disease, Emerald Ash Borer, and Xylella fastidiosa in the horticultural trade.

  • Reader, School of Science Engineering and Environment, University of Salford (2014-2022)
  • Plant Health Panel Member, European Food Safety Authority (2014-present)
  • Senior Research Scientist, Rothamsted Research (2007-2014)
  • Postdoctoral Scientist, US Horticultural Research Laboratory, US Department of Agriculture, Florida (2005-2007)
  • Research Assistant, Rothamsted Research (2001-2002)
  • PhD Mathematical Biology, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge (2005)
  • BSc Ecological Science (Hons. Natural Resource Management), University of Edinburgh (2001)