With a PhD in applied mathematics, I joined the Institute of Food Research in 1990, after working as a Visiting Scientist in the Microbiology Department of Uppsala University, Sweden. My main interest is in the modelling of survival and growth of microbes, especially in dynamic and stress environments. I have been working on both deterministic and stochastic models of microbial kinetics. Lately, my interest turned to modelling bacterial adaptation, applying systems biology and network science methods. I lead the Computational Microbiology Research Group of the institute, as well as the ComBase@IFR National Capability, supported by BBSRC. I am a Visiting Professor at the Physics Department of Imperial College, London.
I have been involved in several national and international projects, coordinating many of them, to develop predictive food microbiology applications and databases. These include BACANOVA, an EU FP-5 project on the variability of bacterial responses to food environments and ComBase, a Food Standards Agency later BBSRC-supported projects to build a database on available data and measurements on kinetic parameters of bacteria in various, food-related environments. The www.combase.cc internet-based depository of such data and predictive models is a result of these projects.
Since organizing NetSci-08, the annual Network Science conference in 2008, I have kept touch with network scientists, and was the treasurer of the Network Science Society for three years.
I was on the Editorial Board of the Applied and Environmental Microbiology for 15 years, for which I received the “Distinguished Service Award” of the American Society for Microbiology. Recently I was elected to be an Academy Fellow of the International Union of Food Science and Technology.