Research Fellow: Air-borne Pathogens and Disease Epidemics

University of Hertfordshire - School of Life and Medical Sciences (Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences)

College Lane

Salary: £32,548 - £38,833 per annum dependent on skills and experience

Grade: UH7

FTE: Full Time, working 37 hours per week (1.0 FTE)

Duration of Contract: 5 years from March 2018

Qualifications required:

PhD degree and expertise in epidemiology, aerobiology, dispersal modelling or another relevant discipline.

Description of the research activity and area:

Airborne pathogens of plants, animals and humans are constant threats to human food production and health. This fellowship will strengthen existing work on dispersal of pathogen spores that start crop disease epidemics, with application of molecular diagnostics to detect mutations in pathogen populations, using novel spore samplers developed at the University of Hertfordshire and Rothamsted. However, these principles can then be applied to pathogens spreading animal and human diseases to consolidate work across the University, Rothamsted and the Royal Veterinary College. It will focus on emerging methods in aerobiology that exploit novel samplers, remote sensing techniques (e.g. LIDAR) and modelling methodology to better understand mechanisms of pathogen dispersal. Improved understanding of biological systems will enable the fellow to develop generic strategies to combat infectious diseases caused by these pathogens. The fellowship will involve collaboration between colleagues in Schools of Life & Medical Sciences, Rothamsted and the Royal Veterinary College (CAFEM partners) and the Schools of Engineering & Technology and Physics, Astronomy & Mathematics.

The successful candidate will support research grant applications and develop new areas of teaching, especially at post-graduate level. To ensure this, the School will provide career training. The fellow will be expected to establish collaborations with companies and successfully obtained co-funded industry-government projects. They will also continue to publish high impact papers and to build an internationally recognized research team.

Skills and experience needed:

The successful applicant will demonstrate excellent leadership skills with good knowledge of research methodology appropriate for the subject area including expertise in aerobiology, dispersal modelling and molecular biology. S/he should have an excellent ability to plan and manage their own activities effectively and be familiar with literature on air-borne pathogen dispersal and associated diseases. The post holder should also have excellent oral and written communication skills in both spoken and written English. They should be experienced at disseminating findings to scientific audiences, writing up high quality journal publications and show potential for income generation. They should be flexible and adaptable, effective in a team setting and have excellent interpersonal skills that enable them to establish good rapport and effective communication with group members as well as external collaborating partners including those in the agricultural industry.

Contact: Informal enquiries can be made to Professor Bruce Fitt tel: 01707 284751, email:, Dr Yong-Ju Huang (01707 284968, email:

The University offers a range of benefits including a pension scheme, professional development, family friendly policies, child care vouchers, a fee waiver of 50% for all children of staff under the age of 21 at the start of the course, discounted memberships at the Hertfordshire Sports Village and generous annual leave.

Apply online at

Share this job
  Share by Email   Print this job   More sharing options
We value your feedback on the quality of our adverts. If you have a comment to make about the overall quality of this advert, or its categorisation then please send us your feedback
Advert information

Type / Role:


South East England