I am a postdoctoral scientist using geospatial statistics to study malaria epidemiology. My focus is the disaggregation of administrative level malaria case data to pixel level estimates of disease risk. This is particularly important in areas of low malaria prevalence. I have written a number of R packages including Zoon, a package for ecological species distribution modelling. I have a statistics-focussed handle, @statsforbios.
After dabbling in the more quantitative elements of Biology at Leeds, I popped into Warwick to do a one year Masters in Systems Biology, before finding myself undertaking a PhD with the Evolutionary Ecology of Infectious Disease (@EEID_oxford) unit in Oxford, where I’ve gone full computational.
My research interests centre on malaria vaccine research. Many decades of work have gone into combatting this ancient scourge, with tools developed that have saved lives across the world: none, however, have as yet proved sufficient to eliminate. One focus of my interest is this: perhaps we can have a decent shot at elimination by carefully using a combination of the tools we already have available.
I use a mixture of mathematical modelling of within host dynamics and bioinformatic analysis of parasite genome sequences to answer interesting questions about the biology of malaria parasites. Malaria has been with us since for many thousands of years, and so the relationships between it and our immune systems are complex. Some of my work aims to uncover the evolutionary imprints of these interactions on the antigenic sequences of parasites.
During my Biotweeps week I’ll be tweeting about disease, evolution, science communication, and probably some general other nerdy stuff. Do get in touch – I’ll try my best to answer questions! My regular twitter account is @Andy_Walker.