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Dr Scott Denholm

Postdoctoral Researcher
Integrative Animal Sciences
Animal & Veterinary Sciences

Research interests 

In September 2013 I started my first postdoc at SRUC working within the Animal and Veterinary Sciences research group as part of the Animal Breeding and Genomics team. In April 2015 I moved to the Integrative Animal Sciences team. My background is in mathematics, in particular, mathematical biology and epidemiology.

I graduated from Heriot-Watt University in 2008 with a BSc in Mathematics. During this my time at Heriot-Watt I studied an assortment of subjects in the fields of applied mathematics, pure mathematics and statistics.

In 2013 I completed my PhD at the University of Stirling (Defra & Cefas funded) under the supervision of Professor Rachel Norman, Dr Andy Shinn, Dr Andy Hoyle and Dr Nick Taylor. My research at Stirling involved using mathematical modelling techniques to investigate the long-term impact of Gyrodactylus salaris infections on Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) populations in territories currently free from infection such as the United Kingdom.

Currently I am interested in the use of immune traits as potential markers for health and welfare traits in dairy cattle. I also have interests in relationships between immune traits and hard/expensive to record phenotypic traits such as energy balance. In summary my interests, have and still, lie in using applied mathematical and statistical methods to better understand biological systems with an emphasis on health, disease (and disease dynamics), systems biology, analysis of big data and genetics.

Selected research projects

  • Using systems biology to understand and routinely predict health and welfare traits in dairy cattle
    BBSRC funded project (BB/K002260/1) in collaboration with Moredun Research Institute developing predictive indicators that may lead to early warning systems for poor health and welfare traits in dairy cows
  • Genetics and genomics of immune response in dairy cattle
    REF funded project exploring the genetics of dairy health traits, with an emphasis on understanding the genetic control of immune traits associated with cow health
  • OptiMIR: new tools for a more sustainable dairy sector
    INTERREG IVB North West Europe Program and is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
  • Mathematical models for investigating the long-term impact of Gyrodactylus salaris infections on Atlantic salmon populations
    Cefas/Defra funded PhD project (FC1197) carried out at the University of Stirling and Cefas Weymouth Laboratory


I currently hold no teaching positions at present.

During my PhD at the University of Stirling I taught mathematics and statistics modules to a wide range of students from the natural and social sciences including biology, computer science and psychology.

Selected publications

  • Paladini G, Hansen H, Williams CF, Taylor NG, Rubio-Mejía OL, Denholm SJ, Hytterød S, Bron JE, Shinn AP. 2014. Reservoir hosts for Gyrodactylus salaris may play a more significant role in epidemics than previously thought. Parasites & Vectors 7, 576
  • Denholm SJ, Norman RA, Hoyle AS, Shinn AP, Taylor NGH. 2013. Reproductive Trade-Offs May Moderate the Impact of Gyrodactylus salaris in Warmer Climates. PLoS ONE 8, e78909

See all of Scott Denholm's publications.

Dr Scott Denholm


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

Telephone: 0131 651 9344