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Dr Naomi Fox

Quantitative Ecologist
Disease Systems
Animal Veterinary Sciences

Research interests

I am a quantitative ecologist in the Disease Systems Team, with main interests in:

  • Biotic and abiotic drivers of parasite transmission
  • Approaches to modelling disease systems
  • Wildlife and livestock disease dynamics
  • Disease control and surveillance
  • Impacts of climate change on disease risk

My research covers both wildlife and livestock disease dynamics, at scales ranging from individual host and farm level risk, to metapopulations and national level drivers of outbreaks. I have particular interests in how climate change will affect parasite risk, and wildlife reservoirs of livestock pathogens.

I develop models of ecological and epidemiological processes using both mechanistic process-based approaches and GIS based correlative modelling, across multiple scales from individual hosts up to national levels. This theoretical modelling is complimented by experimental field work, with both approaches combining to improve understanding of disease dynamics, and inform long-term control strategies.

I am also an associate at Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland (BioSS).

Selected research projects

  • Impacts of climate change on livestock pathogens
    Developing mechanistic, process-based models to explore the influence of climatic conditions on parasite dynamics in livestock systems.
  • Influence of parasitism on climate change
    Quantifying the influence of gastrointestinal parasitism on livestock greenhouse gas contributions.
  • Dynamics of parasite outbreaks in grazing hosts
    Incorporating knowledge of parasite lifecycle dynamics, host grazing behaviours, and livestock management into individual based, continuous time, stochastic process models. To understand the drivers of parasite dynamics and explore options for disease control.
  • Wildlife reservoirs of livestock pathogens
    Investigating the role of wildlife reservoirs of livestock pathogens, and implications for control. Includes work on wild rabbits as reservoirs of paratuberculosis, and wildlife reservoirs of bovine TB
  • Paratuberculosis control
    Evaluating on farm surveillance and control strategies for paratuberculosis, using model-based risk assessment.


  • Disease in Livestock Ecosystems MSc (University of Edinburgh)
    Within this MSc program I am the course developer and lecturer for the courses ‘Wildlife disease ecology in livestock ecosystems’, and ‘Climate change: animal health contribution & consequence’.
  • One Health MSc (University of Edinburgh)
    Course developer and lecturer on wildlife disease ecology in livestock ecosystems.
  • Applied Animal Science BSc (SRUC)
    Course development and lecturing on the module ‘Clinical Microbiology and Epidemiology’.

Selected publications

  • Fox N.J., Marion G., Davidson R.S., White P.C.L., Hutchings M. 2015. Climate driven tipping points could lead to sudden, high intensity parasite outbreaks. Royal Society Open Science. 2 (5), 140296. Full text
  • Wreford A., Moran D., Moxey A., Evans K.A., Fox N.J., Glenk K., Hutchings M., McCracken D.I., McVittie A., Mitchell M., Topp C.F.E., Wall E. 2015 Estimating the Costs and Benefits of Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change. EuroChoices. 14(2) 16-23. Full text
  • Fox N.J., Marion G., Davidson R.S., White P.C.L., Hutchings M.R., 2013. Modelling parasite transmission in a grazing system: The importance of host behaviour and immunity. PloS One 8(11): e77996. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0077996 Full Text
  • Fox N.J., Marion G, Davidson R.S., White P.C.L., Hutchings M.R. 2012. Livestock helminths in a changing climate: approaches and restrictions to meaningful predictions. Animals Special Issue: Livestock management and climate change. Animals, 2, 93-107. Full Text
  • Fox N.J., White P.C.L., McClean C.J., Marion G., Evans A., Hutchings M.R. 2011 Predicting impacts of Climate Change on Fasciola hepatica Risk. PLoS ONE 6(1). Full Text

See all of Dr Naomi Fox's publications.

Dr Naomi Fox

Quantitative Ecologist

Address: Animal & Veterinary Sciences, SRUC, Roslin Institute Building, Easter Bush, Midlothian EH25 9RG

Telephone: 0131 651 9322