Following a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Edinburgh in 1996 Glenn has worked on the development of advanced statistical methods combined with systems approaches to improve management and control of both disease dynamics in plants and animals and the invasive spread of non-native species. These methods aim to extract maximum value from administrative, field & experimental data to estimate quantities of interest that are impractical or too costly to measure directly e.g. disease transmission and dynamics, and to provide actionable insights to enable better management at a range of scales. He is a member of the Scottish Government’s centre of expertise in veterinary epidemiology and coordinated the systems biology module of the Scottish Government’s Strategic Partnership in Animal Science. He has been Head of Research at BioSS since 2013 and is now a member of the Science and Advisory Response Team in the Plant Health Centre.
Impact: Informed the control efforts of Scottish Forestry by predicting the spread of D. micans in Scotland and identifying the high-risk areas of colonisation. This project built on methods developed under the RESAS SRP and led to work commissioned by Scottish Forestry to inform their surveillance and control programme in 2018.
Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has become a significant threat to ash trees in several countries (including USA and Russia) but is not yet present in the UK. We quantified climate and ecological factors affecting EAB suitability using native range data and conclude that southern England is a highly suitable habitat for EAB. Although currently less favourable, we project that Scotland will become increasingly suitable for EAB under climate change. Thus, EAB could threaten Scotland via trade with areas where it is present or, through spread from populations if established in England or Western Europe. Rapid spread of EAB has been observed in its US invasion. We therefore recommend further study and vigilance against EAB introductions into the UK.
This project investigated whether modelling could aid preparation for a potential bark beetle and wood borer invasion of Scotland. This was achieved by: (i) reviewing suitability of modelling results and frameworks in literature; (ii) recommendations on how these could be rapidly adapted for Scottish and UK plant health context and (iii) case study on Emerald ash borer to exemplify approach.
This project conducted a proof of principle study to assess whether developed computational tools could add value to the field data in annual surveys by Scottish Forestry to parameterise models of the spread of Dendroctonus Micans in space and time. The fitted model was also used to project scenarios of future spread.