Professor Rachel Norman is University Dean of Research Engagement and Performance and Professor of Food Security and Sustainability. Working closely with the Deputy Principal (Research), Research and Innovation Services and the Dean of the Institute for Advanced Studies, the Dean will have a pivotal role to play in the development, promotion and enhancement of research quality.
Rachel gained a first-class honours degree in Mathematics at the University of Liverpool and went on to do her PhD in Mathematical Biology, modelling the dynamics and control of infectious diseases. She spent a year as a postdoctoral research assistant in the Zoology department at the University of Oxford, modelling Lymphatic Filariasis, a mosquito-borne infection.
Rachel joined the Computing Science and Mathematics division at the University of Stirling in 1996 and collaborated with colleagues in the Institute of Aquaculture, modelling fish parasites. In January 2013, she took up the post of Chair of Aquatic Food Security and has since worked across the University on interdisciplinary projects in the area of food security. This resulted in her leading the University-wide Global Food Security research programme.
Rachel’s research interests lie in using Mathematics to solve real-world problems. She worked for a number of years on tick-borne infections, in particular Louping ill virus, which is a disease of sheep and red grouse. She is particularly interested in using mathematics to understand where small changes in the food system could lead to relatively large and positive impacts.
She is actively involved in public engagement and has been involved with organising science fairs, including the Stirling Pint of Science events. She sits on the Scottish Mathematical Council (SMC) and organises the local SMC Primary Enterprising Mathematics event, as well administering the SMC Mathematical Challenge for local schools.