Professor Mike Boots
Professor of Disease Biology


Research interests

I examine the ecology and evolution of infectious disease by (1) building theoretical models and using experimental insect-virus systems to examine the evolutionary dynamics of host defence and parasite virulence, (2) combining models and fieldwork on human tropical disease and (3) developing models to predict the impact and spread of wildlife disease including avian malaria, and squirrel-pox virus

Research projects

The role of ecological feedbacks in generating diversity in hosts and parasites

Using theoretical models and an insect virus laboratory model system to examine the role of spatial structure in the coevolution of hosts and parasites

Examining the evolution of virulence in a vector borne disease: honey bee deformed wing virus.

The role of temperature in the dynamics of an STI: ladybirds and mites

The role of malaria in Great tit population dynamics

Modelling the within host dynamics of Staphylococcus aureus

Research grants

2013 NERC (PI): “The maintenance of functional diversity of hosts and parasites”  £600K
2013 BBSRC/EID NIH (PI): “Understanding the effects of spatial structure on evolution of virulence in the real world: honeybees and their destructive parasites”  £384K
2012 NERC (CI): “Real-time host-parasite coevolution in natural microbial communities”. £596K
2012 NERC (PI): “Resource availability and the evolution of host resistance to parasites”.  £535K
MRC (CI) ESEI Catalyst grant “Determining the risks of mosquito-borne viral zoonoses emerging and spreading from East African forests”
2009 Wellcome Trust (CI): “Staphylococcus aureus host:pathogen interaction”    
2009 NERC (PI): “Testing the role of spatial structure in ecology and evolution”.   £501K
2009 NERC (CI): “Temperature impacts on parasite epidemiology – case study of a contact-transmitted insect disease.
2008 NERC (PI): “The evolution of virulence in a vector borne disease: testing the assumptions and predictions of the trade-off theory of parasite evolution”   
2007 NERC (CI): “Host dispersal, individual variation and spatial heterogeneity in avian malaria”
2005 Leverhulme Trust (PI): “Evolutionary Immune Theory: modelling the dynamics of the insect immune system”
2004 Wellcome Trust (PI): “Developing theoretical epidemiology of Malaria”
2004 Leverhulme Trust (PI): “The effect of social networks on the evolution of parasites and pathogens”
2003 NERC (PI): “Determining the shape of the trade-off curve for resistance to pathogens”.
2003 Wellcome Trust (PI):“Modelling the epidemiology and evolution of Dengue virus“.
2003 Leverhulme Trust (CI): “Temporal and seasonal analysis of parasite interactions”.
2003 Leverhulme Trust (CI): “Modelling the mechanisms driving parasite adaptation and genetic diversity”.
2002 NERC New Investigator (PI): “The population dynamical implications of spatial structure”.
2001 Wellcome Trust (CI): “The Population dynamics of sexually transmitted disease”.


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