Valerie Isham is Professor of Probability and Statistics at University College London. She has an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and a PhD in Statistics from the University of London (Imperial College) for a thesis on point processes. She is also a Chartered Statistician. She joined UCL in 1978, following a temporary appointment at Imperial College and has been a professor since 1992. At UCL she served as Head of Department from 1996-2002 and again from 2010-2011. She has just completed a two-year term as President of the Royal Statistical Society. Her research interests lie in applied probability: broadly, the development and application of stochastic models. Particular fields of application include models for spatial and spatio-temporal processes arising in the physical sciences, and especially in hydrology (eg soil moisture and precipitation), and in the life and medical sciences, focussing particularly on population processes, epidemics and the transmission dynamics of infection and information on networks.