Professor Rachel Norman

Chair in Food Security & Sustainability

Mathematics Stirling,

Professor Rachel Norman

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About me

About me

I graduated with a first class honours degree in Mathematics from Liverpool University in 1991.I then went on to do a PhD jointly supervised by Roger Bowers in the Mathematics and Mike Begon in the Ecology departments funded by a Wellcome Trust prize studentship. I spent a year in Oxford Zoology department modelling the dynamics and control of Lymphatic filariasis. I started work as a lecturer in the Mathematics and Statistics group in Stirling in 1996 and went half time in 2001. I was promoted to Senior lecturer in 2003 and to Reader in 2010. In January 2013 I started a new role as Professor of Aquatic Food security. We set up the Centre for Aquatic Food Security which is a virtual interdisciplinary centre which looks at the role of Seafood in the wider food security picture. More recently I have led the University Research Programme on Global Food Security which brings together colleagues from across the University who are applying their research to problems in food security. In April 2019 I took on the role of Institutional Dean of Research Engagement and Performance. In my Institutional Dean role I am particularly keen to ensure that we provide a positive and collaborative research environment which helps all people to reach their potential.

Community Contribution

Vice president of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society
Edinburgh Mathematical Society


Education

PhD
University of Liverpool

Degree in Mathematics
University of Liverpool


Professional membership

British Ecological Society
The British Ecological Society

Edinburgh Mathematical Society
Edinburgh Mathematical Society


Research (16)

My background is in mathematical modelling of infectious disease dynamics and control. I have worked extensively on models of tick borne pathogens, specifically Louping ill virus. I am interested in both developing new modelling techniques and solving real life problems. Much of my past work has been on wildlife pathogens and aquatic parasites in particular. More recently I have turned my focus to Food security and am really interested in how we can understand the complex interactions which make up our food system. In particular non- linearities in the food system and I currently have a Levehulme Fellowship to work on this. I am also involved in a Belmont Forum funded proposal looking at biological control of snails which are vectors of schistosomiasis using prawns which can also be used as a food source . I have been developing interdisciplinary projects to help us tackle the transformation that the food system will require in order to ensure a equitable, food secure world.

Keywords: Food security. Mathematical modelling of infectious disease dynamics and control. Specific interests in emerging diseases and food security.

Research Opportunities Potential PhD students who would like to come and work with me are encouraged to get in touch in order to discuss potential projects. I am interested in anything in the broad area of mathematical modelling in food security. Some specific examples of potential projects include:

Applying the theory of marginal gains to healthy eating: Given the current predictions about future population growth and food production capacity it is clear that we, in the developed world, cannot continue to eat the same diets as we currently do. These diets are both unhealthy and environmentally demanding. This project will have dietary choices at its core and will take a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to investigating sustainable nutrition. We will develop and test a novel individual and distribution based mathematical model of human health metrics and associated diets. It will provide quantifiable evidence which links food choices, production systems, and health and environmental outcomes. The model will identify the dietary changes which lead to improved outcomes for health and sustainability. We will develop a practical, transparent and flexible tool which allows all stakeholders to investigate the range of choices available to them, and the consequences in terms of health, the economy, and sustainability.

Control of Armyworms on African crops:The Armyworm is an african moth capable of destroying entire crops in a matter of weeks. They are currently being controlled by chemicals but there are possible methods of biological control, including using a virus. In this project we would build a seasonal, spatial mathematical model of armyworms (both Fall armyworms and African Armyworms) in order to test different control strategies in order to find an integrated pest management strategy which will minimise the damage done by these pests.

Nonlinearities in the food system: How can we use mathematical approaches to help us to understand tipping points, feedback loops and trade offs in different aspects of the food system. Can we then use those non linearities to our advantage? Are there real world examples where a small change in behaviour will produce a greater than expected benefit. Alternatively how do we ensure we avoid tipping points - can we tell how close to them we are?

Projects

Integrated risk mapping and targetted snail control to support schistosomiasis elimination in Brazil and Cote d'Ivoire under future climate change
PI: Professor Rachel Norman
Funded by: Natural Environment Research Council

Developing a Theoretical understanding of non linearities in the food system and practical ideas to take advantage of them
PI: Professor Rachel Norman
Funded by: The Leverhulme Trust

Enhancing Diversity to Overcome Resistance Evolution
PI: Dr Matthew Tinsley
Funded by: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Curriculum Development for Sustainable Seafood and Nutrition Security
PI: Dr Amaya Albalat
Funded by: European Commission (Horizon 2020)

Use of sensors to improve pig productivity
PI: Professor Rachel Norman
Funded by: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Fishbox Supply Chain algorithm
PI: Professor Rachel Norman
Funded by: Scottish Funding Council

Introduction to Mathematical Modelling for the environmental and biological sciences
PI: Dr Andrew Hoyle
Funded by: Natural Environment Research Council

Introduction to mathematical modelling for the environmental and biological sciences
PI: Professor Rachel Norman
Funded by: Natural Environment Research Council

The Provision of Mathematical and Computational Modelling Support
PI: Professor Rachel Norman
Funded by: Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs

Introduction to mathematical modelling for the environmental and biological sciences
PI: Professor Rachel Norman
Funded by: Natural Environment Research Council

Carnegie Travel Grant
PI: Professor Rachel Norman
Funded by: The Carnegie Trust

Estimating the long-term impact of Gyrodactylus salaris infections in the UK
PI: Professor Rachel Norman
Funded by: Centre for Enviroment, Fisheries & Aquaculture

Scoping Study for the Control of Invasive Crayfish: Modelling the Effects of Control Mechanisms
PI: Professor Rachel Norman
Funded by: Centre for Enviroment, Fisheries & Aquaculture

The role in animal dispersal in spreading and controlling tick-borne diseases
PI: Professor Rachel Norman
Funded by: Natural Environment Research Council

System Dynamics from Individual Interactions: A process algebra approach to epidemiology
PI: Professor Carron Shankland
Funded by: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Mathematical models of the dynamics and control of parasites in fish populations
PI: Professor Rachel Norman
Funded by: The Carnegie Trust

Outputs (70)

Outputs

Website Content

Tillmann U, Norman R, Richardson S & Etheridge A (2022) Mathematics needs to find the formula for gender equality. Times Higher Education Blog [Blog Post] 08.03.2022. https://www.timeshighereducation.com/blog/mathematics-needs-find-formula-gender-equality

Article

Ozretich RW, Wood CL, Allan F, Koumi AR, Norman R, Brierley AS, De Leo GA & Little DC (2022) The Potential for Aquaculture to Reduce Poverty and Control Schistosomiasis in Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) during an Era of Climate Change: A Systematic Review. Reviews in Fisheries Science and Aquaculture. https://doi.org/10.1080/23308249.2022.2039096

Article

Wilson A, Morgan E, Booth M, Norman R, Perkins S, Hauffe H, Mideo N, Antonovics J, McCallum H & Fenton A (2017) What is a vector?. Philosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences, 372 (1719), Art. No.: 20160085. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2016.0085

Research Report

Benton T, Fairweather D, Graves A, Harris J, Jones A, Lenton T, Norman R, O'Riordan T, Pope E & Tiffin R (2017) Environmental tipping points and food system dynamics: Main report. Global Food Security. http://www.foodsecurity.ac.uk/assets/pdfs/environmental-tipping-points-report.pdf

Article

Denholm SJ, Hoyle A, Shinn A, Paladini G, Taylor NGH & Norman R (2016) Predicting the potential for natural recovery of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) populations following the introduction of Gyrodactylus salaris Malmberg, 1957 (Monogenea). PLoS ONE, 11 (12), Art. No.: e0169168. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0169168

Conference Proceeding

Benkirane S, Norman R, Scott E & Shankland C (2012) Measles epidemics and PEPA: An exploration of historic disease dynamics using process algebra. In: Giannakopoulou D & Mery D (eds.) FM 2012: Formal Methods: 18th International Symposium, Paris, France, August 27-31, 2012. Proceedings. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 7436. FM 2012: Formal Methods 18th International Symposium, Paris, France, 27.08.2012-31.08.2012. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, pp. 101-115. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-642-32759-9_11; https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-32759-9_11

Article

Taylor NGH, Norman R, Way K & Peeler EJ (2011) Modelling the koi herpesvirus (KHV) epidemic highlights the importance of active surveillance within a national control policy. Journal of Applied Ecology, 48 (2), pp. 348-355. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2664.2010.01926.x/abstract?systemMessage=Wiley+Online+Library+will+be+disrupted+on+9+June+from+10%3A00-12%3A00+BST+%2805%3A00-07%3A00+EDT%29+for+essential+maintenance; https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2664.2010.01926.x

Article

McCaig C, Begon M, Norman R & Shankland C (2011) A rigorous approach to investigating common assumptions about disease transmission: Process algebra as an emerging modelling methodology for epidemiology. Theory in Biosciences, 130 (1), pp. 19-29. http://www.springerlink.com/content/1431-7613/; https://doi.org/10.1007/s12064-010-0106-8

Conference Paper (unpublished)

Scott E, Mahajan SM, Brand-Spencer T, Allen JE, Norman R, Graham AL & Shankland C (2010) Modelling Immunological Systems using PEPA: a preliminary report. 9th Workshop on Process Algebra and Stochastically Timed Activities (PASTA 2010), London, UK, 06.09.2010-07.09.2010. http://aesop.doc.ic.ac.uk/conferences/pasta/2010

Conference Proceeding

Benkirane S, Shankland C, Norman R & McCaig C (2009) Modelling the bubonic plague in a prairie dog burrow: a work in progress. In: Clark A & Guerriero M (eds.) 8th Workshop on Process Algebra and Stochastically Timed Activities: PASTA 2009. PASTA 2009 - 8th Workshop on Process Algebra and Stochastically Timed Activities, Edinburgh, UK, 26.08.2009-27.08.2009. Edinburgh, UK: University of Edinburgh, pp. 145-152. http://www.cs.stir.ac.uk/~sbk/PASTA2009.pdf

Conference Proceeding

McCaig C, Norman R & Shankland C (2008) Process Algebra Models of Population Dynamics. In: Horimoto K, Regensburger G, Rosenkranz M & Yoshida H (eds.) Algebraic Biology. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 5147. Algebraic Biology 2008, Castle of Hagenberg, Austria, 31.07.2008-02.08.2008. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer, pp. 139-155. http://www.springerlink.com/content/y26143833jl82307/?MUD=MP; https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-85101-1

Article

Mathews F, Macdonald D, Taylor GM, Gelling M, Norman R, Honess P, Foster R, Gower CM, Varley S, Harris A, Palmer S, Hewinson G & Webster JP (2006) Bovine tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis) in British farmland wildlife: the importance to agriculture. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 273 (1584), pp. 357-365. http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/273/1584/357; https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2005.3298

Article

Laurenson MK, Norman R, Gilbert L, Reid HW & Hudson PJ (2004) Mountain hares, louping-ill, red grouse and harvesting: complex interactions but few data. Journal of Animal Ecology, 73 (4), pp. 811-813. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2664.2010.01926.x/abstract?systemMessage=Wiley+Online+Library+will+be+disrupted+on+9+June+from+10%3A00-12%3A00+BST+%2805%3A00-07%3A00+EDT%29+for+essential+maintenance; https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0021-8790.2004.00851.x

Article

Norman R, Ross D, Laurenson MK & Hudson PJ (2004) The role of non-viraemic transmission on the persistence and dynamics of a tick borne virus - Louping ill in red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scoticus) and mountain hares (Lepus timidus). Journal of Mathematical Biology, 48 (2), pp. 119-134. http://www.springerlink.com/content/jqf37qrp4x7c12hv/; https://doi.org/10.1007/s00285-002-0183-5

Book Chapter

Norman R & Shankland C (2003) Developing the use of process algebra in the derivation and analysis of mathematical models of infectious disease. In: Moreno-Díaz R & Pichler F (eds.) Computer Aided Systems Theory - EUROCAST 2003 9th International Workshop on Computer Aided Systems Theory Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, February 24-28, 2003 Revised Selected Papers. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2809. Berlin and Heidelberg: Springer, pp. 404-414. http://www.springerlink.com/content/qe3bvr3gndrv4etd/; https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-45210-2_37

Book Chapter

Norman R, Fenton A, Fairbairn JP & Hudson PJ (2003) Mathematical Models of Insect Pest Control. In: Upadhyay R (ed.) Advances in Microbial Control of Insect Pests. New York: Springer, pp. 313-322. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4757-4437-8_16

Article

Boots M, Greenman J, Ross D, Norman R, Hails RS & Sait S (2003) The population dynamical implications of covert infections in host-microparasite interactions. Journal of Animal Ecology, 72 (6), pp. 1064-1072. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1365-2656.2003.00777.x/abstract?systemMessage=Wiley+Online+Library+will+be+disrupted+on+9+June+from+10%3A00-12%3A00+BST+%2805%3A00-07%3A00+EDT%29+for+essential+maintenance; https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2656.2003.00777.x

Article

Rosa R, Pugliese A, Norman R & Hudson PJ (2003) Thresholds for disease persistence in models for tick-borne infections including non-viraemic transmission, extended feeding and tick aggregation. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 224 (3), pp. 359-376. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022519303001735; https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-5193%2803%2900173-5

Article

Laurenson MK, Norman R, Gilbert L, Reid HW & Hudson PJ (2003) Identifying disease reservoirs in complex systems: mountain hares as reservoirs of ticks and louping-ill virus, pathogens of red grouse. Journal of Animal Ecology, 72 (1), pp. 177-185. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1365-2656.2003.00688.x/abstract?systemMessage=Wiley+Online+Library+will+be+disrupted+on+9+June+from+10%3A00-12%3A00+BST+%2805%3A00-07%3A00+EDT%29+for+essential+maintenance; https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2656.2003.00688.x

Article

White P, Norman R & Hudson PJ (2002) Epidemiological consequences of a pathogen having both virulent and avirulent modes of transmission: the case of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus. Epidemiology and Infection, 129 (3), pp. 665-677. http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=137505; https://doi.org/10.1017/S095026880200777X

Article

Fenton A, Fairbairn JP, Norman R & Hudson PJ (2002) Parasite transmission: reconciling theory and reality. Journal of Animal Ecology, 71 (5), pp. 893-905. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1365-2656.2002.00656.x/abstract?systemMessage=Wiley+Online+Library+will+be+disrupted+on+9+June+from+10%3A00-12%3A00+BST+%2805%3A00-07%3A00+EDT%29+for+essential+maintenance; https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2656.2002.00656.x

Article

Fenton A, Gwynn R, Gupta A, Norman R, Fairbairn JP & Hudson PJ (2002) Optimal application strategies for entomopathogenic nematodes: integrating theoretical and empirical approaches. Journal of Applied Ecology, 39 (3), pp. 481-492. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1365-2664.2002.00727.x/abstract?systemMessage=Wiley+Online+Library+will+be+disrupted+on+9+June+from+10%3A00-12%3A00+BST+%2805%3A00-07%3A00+EDT%29+for+essential+maintenance; https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2664.2002.00727.x

Book Chapter

Randolph SE, Chemini C, Furlanello C, Genchi C, Hails RS, Hudson PJ, Jones LD, Medley GF, Norman R, Rizzoli A, Smith GD & Woolhouse MEJ (2002) The ecology of tick-borne infections in wildlife reservoirs. In: Hudson P, Rizzoli A, Grenfell B, Heesterbeek H & Dobson A (eds.) The Ecology of Wildlife Diseases. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 119-138. http://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-ecology-of-wildlife-diseases-9780198506195?cc=gb〈=en&

Book Chapter

Grenfell BT, Amos W, Arneberg P, Bjornstad ON, Greenman J, Harwood J, Lanfranchi P, McLean AR, Norman R, Read AF & Skorping A (2002) Visions for future research in wildlife epidemiology. In: Hudson P, Rizzoli A, Grenfell B, Heesterbeek H & Dobson A (eds.) The Ecology of Wildlife Diseases. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 151-164. http://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-ecology-of-wildlife-diseases-9780198506195?cc=gb〈=en&tab=toc

Article

Gilbert L, Norman R, Laurenson MK, Reid HW & Hudson PJ (2001) Disease persistence and apparent competition in a three-host community: an empirical and analytical study of large-scale, wild populations. Journal of Animal Ecology, 70 (6), pp. 1053-1061. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.0021-8790.2001.00558.x/abstract;jsessionid=D7643F6FCB4FBC22CA5796E9330A4D76.d01t02?systemMessage=Wiley+Online+Library+will+be+disrupted+on+9+June+from+10%3A00-12%3A00+BST+%2805%3A00-07%3A00+EDT%29+for+essential+; https://doi.org/10.1046/j.0021-8790.2001.00558.x

Article

Norman R, Chan M, Srividya A, Pani SP, Ramaiah KD, Vanamail P, Michael E, Das PK & Bundy DAP (2000) EPIFIL: The development of an age-structured model for describing the transmission dynamics and control of lymphatic filariasis. Epidemiology and Infection, 124 (3), pp. 529-541. http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=54243; https://doi.org/10.1017/S0950268899003702

Article

Boots M & Norman R (2000) Sublethal infection and the population dynamics of host-microparasite interactions. Journal of Animal Ecology, 69 (3), pp. 517-524. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1365-2656.2000.00417.x/abstract?systemMessage=Wiley+Online+Library+will+be+disrupted+on+9+June+from+10%3A00-12%3A00+BST+%2805%3A00-07%3A00+EDT%29+for+essential+maintenance; https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2656.2000.00417.x

Article

Fenton A, Norman R, Fairbairn JP & Hudson PJ (2000) Modelling the efficacy of entomopathogenic nematodes in the regulation of invertebrate pests in glasshouse crops. Journal of Applied Ecology, 37 (2), pp. 309-320. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1365-2664.2000.00494.x/abstract?systemMessage=Wiley+Online+Library+will+be+disrupted+on+9+June+from+10%3A00-12%3A00+BST+%2805%3A00-07%3A00+EDT%29+for+essential+maintenance; https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2664.2000.00494.x

Book Chapter

Fenton A, Fairbairn JP, Norman R & Hudson PJ (1999) Modelling entomopathogenic nematodes for biological control. In: Thomas M & Kedwards T (eds.) Challenges in Applied population biology. Aspects of Applied Biology, 53. Warwick: Association of Applied Biologists, pp. 157-163.

Book Chapter

Hudson PJ & Norman R (1995) The role of entomopathogenic nematodes in regulating the abundance of pest species: a generalised model. In: Griffin C, Gwynn R & Masson J (eds.) Ecology and Transmission Strategies of Entomopathogenic Nematodes (Report). COST Biotechnology, 819. Luxembourg: European Commission, pp. 52-57. http://www.cost.eu/media/publications/95-11-Ecology-and-Transmission-Strategies-of-Entomopathogenic-Nematodes

Article

Hudson PJ, Norman R, Laurenson MK, Newborn D, Gaunt MW, Jones LD, Reid HW, Gould E, Bowers R & Dobson A (1995) Persistence and transmission of tick-borne viruses: Ixodes ricinus and louping-ill virus in red grouse populations. Parasitology, 111 (Supplement S1), pp. S49-S58. http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=4217524; https://doi.org/10.1017/S0031182000075818

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