Over the last year I have been heavily involved in the research activities of the Stirling Mathematical Ecology Group (SMEG), contributing to the understanding of the behaviour of complex nonlinear dynamical models, representing "epidemiological" situations is which disease spreads among wildlife, farmstock and indeed humans. The recent interest in BSE (mad cow disease) and the frightening Ebula outbreak in Africa - from which the result is almost certain death - are cases in point.
The SMEG is an interdisciplinary group of biologists, modellers, statisticians and mathematicians with skills varying from the highly theoretical to the highly practical.
On the theoretical side, two members of the group, Peter Hudson (Biology) and myself, have recently developed a new, powerful technique called Gateway Analysis to help in the analysis of complex dynamical systems. The new approach uses bifurcation theory to structure the investigation of parameter space and to provide a visualization of it. Work carried out by SMEG is published in a range of international journals and also in a series of Technical Reports, available from SMEG.