Dr Nick Cunniffe

Biological Sciences

Research Themes

I use mathematical modelling to understand the dynamics, spread and control of plant and tree disease.  As well as contributing to our understanding of theoretical ecology, my models have real practical impact: for example the recent cutting of larch trees to attempt to contain Ramorum Disease in the U.K is directly informed in extent by the results of the models I work on.

Although my main focus is plant disease, I am also interested in using mathematics to understand human phenomena, including urbanisation and predicting sport results.  With regard to the latter I am the author of what surely must be the only academic paper focusing on the performance of Luton Town football club!


At Girton I give supervisions in mathematics to first year biologists, and occasionally to others too.  For my Department I am Course Organiser of the popular first year Natural Sciences option in Mathematical Biology, and give lectures on mathematical modelling as part of second year Plant and Microbial Sciences, third year Zoology and Plant Sciences and fourth year Systems Biology.

I also contribute a number of lectures and practicals to an annual two-week residential course in epidemiology run by the Wellcome Trust and supervise PhD students in my Department.

College Role

Official Fellow

Degrees, Awards and Prizes

MA, MSc (Bath), MPhil, PhD