My research involves evolutionary approaches to epidemiological problems, such as the factors driving emergence and spread of infectious disease. I apply methods based on patterns in genetic variation among individuals to explain the observed distribution of diseases, and to track the evolution of pathogens. I am currently working on SARS-CoV-2, specifically on the Pango dynamic nomenclature (a system for identifying genetic lineages of epidemiological relevance), and on evaluating the impact of public health interventions on transmission among UK regions. Before coming to Oxford I was a PI at the Natural History Museum London, where I worked on the evolution and taxonomy of the parasitic blood-fluke Schistosoma and their intermediate hosts. My work on schistosomiasis in Asia led to the description of three new species, and the discovery of Mekong schistosomiasis in new regions and habitats.
I am also a Scientific Associate at the Natural History Museum in London, and formerly Professor of Epidemiology at West China Medical School. In addition to schistosomiasis, my past interests include the impact of dams on freshwater biodiversity.