Ben Ashby (PI)

Associate Professor
Department of Mathematics, SFU

I am a mathematical biologist interested in the ecology and (co)evolution of hosts and their parasites. I use mathematical models and simulations to study how parasites spread through populations and evolve traits such as infectivity and virulence, and in turn how this affects the evolution of host traits such as resistance or mating strategies.

Post doctoral researchers

Cameron Smith

Cameron Smith

I am a mathematical biologist who is interested in population dynamics and epidemiology, and applying stochasticity to mathematical models. My PhD centred on the development of “hybrid methods” and their implementation on reaction-diffusion systems. Currently, my work focusses on the investigation of within-host dynamics and the effects that these have on the evolution of pathogens along the mutualism-parasitism continuum, together with a small amount of work modelling some aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Outside of maths, I attempt to play football, enjoy taking walks and singing.

View Cameron’s Publications

PhD students

Lydia Buckingham

Lydia Buckingham

My research investigates the ways in which pathogens and their hosts co-evolve to create different age-structured patterns of immune responses in the host. At the moment, I am focussing on the differences between disease resistance in juveniles and adults. I completed my undergraduate degree in Mathematics at Merton College, Oxford, with my Master’s project exploring the effects of host heterogeneities on the spread of infectious diseases. In my spare time, I enjoy playing the piano and looking after my small flock of sheep.

Jason Wood

Jason Wood

I am interested in using mathematics to help develop our understanding of eco-evolutionary systems, especially using computational methods. My current research investigates the coevolutionary dynamics of systems with three species involved; at the moment I am considering a Host – Parasite – Hyperparasite system. I completed my undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Physics (MMath) at the University of York in 2018 and my Master’s project focused on the swimming of microorganisms. In my spare time I like to read, take latin and ballroom dancing lessons, and play the niche sport of underwater hockey.

Master’s students

Zahresh Walji

Project TBD

Niloo Saedi

Project TBD


Scott Renegado (USRA, 2023)

Alistair Pirrie (PhD, 2023)

*Yvonne Krumbeck (PhD, 2022)

*Halimubieke Naerhulan (PhD, 2020). Next position: Teaching Fellow, University of Bath

Hettie Chapman (MMath, 2021). Next position: PhD candidate at Heinrich Heine Universität

Tom Griffiths (MMath, 2020). Next position: Data Analyst at Second Nature

Tim Coulter (MMath, 2020). Next position: Software Engineer at Ocado


Recent collaborators

Honorary group members

Herbert ‘Herbie’ Puppington

Herbert ‘Herbie’ Puppington

I joined the pack group in August 2020. I’m still young, but I’m growing fast and will be working hard on my recall skills and house training over the next few months. I have broad research interests and am keen to investigate anything new.