Mathematical modelling of infectious diseases at criticality: the interplay of disease spread and behaviour

Vincent Jansen (primary)
Biological Sciences
Royal Holloway University of London
Sebastian Funk (secondary)
Infectious Disease Epidemiology
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine


Mathematical modelling of infectious diseases helps us understand how a disease spreads, and how it is best controlled. This project aims for you to master skills and develop techniques for the modelling of epidemics, the analysis of epidemiological data, and to apply these skills to disease control. We are particularly interested in the interplay between disease spread and behavioural change in response to a disease. This is an important, but poorly understood area of epidemiology. It applies to disease caused by viruses and bacteria and is particularly relevant to zoonoses. This project requires an interest in modelling and data analysis.


S. Funk, I. Ciglenecki, A. Tiffany, E. Gignoux, A. Camacho, R. M. Eggo, A. J. Kucharski, W. J. Edmunds, J. Bolongei, P. Azuma, P. Clement, T. S. Alpha, E. Sterk, B. Telfer, G. Engel, L. A. Parker, M. Suzuki, N. Heijenberg, B. Reeder. The impact of control strategies and behavioural changes on the elimination of Ebola from Lofa County, Liberia. Philos T R Soc B 372(1721).

S. Funk, E. Gilad, C. Watkins, V. A. A. Jansen. The spread of awareness and its impact on epidemic outbreaks. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106(16):6872–6877.

S. Funk, M. Salathé, V. A. A. Jansen. Modelling the influence of human behaviour on the spread of infectious diseases: a review. J R Soc Interface 7(50):1247–1256.

S. Funk, E. Gilad, V.A.A. Jansen. Endemic disease, awareness, and local behavioural response,
Journal of Theoretical Biology, 264 (2)501-509,

Jansen VA, Stollenwerk N, Jensen HJ, Ramsay ME, Edmunds WJ, Rhodes CJ. Measles outbreaks in a population with declining vaccine uptake. Science. 301(5634):804.

Genes, development and STEM* approaches to biology
Area of Biology
Techniques & Approaches
Mathematics / StatisticsSimulation / Modelling