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Personal profile

Research interests

My research interests are in stochastic modelling and Bayesian statistical inference, in particular for infectious disease models. Specific topics include:
(i) Modelling endemic infections. Much work in infection modelling concentrates on the initial emergence of novel pathogens, and the problem of preventing major outbreaks. For diseases which become endemic in a population, other issues come into play; in particular, one is interested in the endemic prevalence level,  and the distribution of the time until fade-out of infection.
(ii) Population heterogeneities. The very simplest mathematical models for infectious spread treat the population as homogeneously mixing. More realistically, many populations can be partitioned into homogeneously-mixing subgroups, eg pens within a pig farm, or management groups within a dairy herd.
(iii) Epidemic control - specifically, applications of mathematical control theory in epidemic modelling.
(iv) Bayesian statistical inference. I have worked on veterinary applications, on theoretical issues in the context of infectious disease models, and on modelling coral reef data.
(v) Veterinary applications, including to E. Coli O157 in dairy cattle, Salmonella in dairy cattle, and Salmonella in pigs.


I obtained my PhD, thesis entitled 'Epidemic Models in Heterogeneous Populations', from the University of Nottingham, under the supervision of Prof Frank Ball. I then held lecturing posts first at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (Department of Mathematics), then later at the University of Liverpool (Department of Mathematical Sciences). In October 2014 I moved to Heriot-Watt University, where I am a Professor in the Department of Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics. I am a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, and an Associate Editor of the journal Methodology and Computing in Applied Probability. Much of my research is on the mathematcial structure of stochastic models for infectious disease transmission; I have also worked on several projects of a more applied nature, focusing on livestock infections and zoonoses.

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Research Output

Approximating time to extinction for endemic infection models

Clancy, D. & Tjia, E., Dec 2018, In : Methodology and Computing in Applied Probability. 20, 4, p. 1043–1067 25 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 24 Downloads (Pure)

    Persistence time of SIS infections in heterogeneous populations and networks

    Clancy, D., Sep 2018, In : Journal of Mathematical Biology. 77, 3, p. 545-570 26 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 20 Downloads (Pure)

    Precise estimates of persistence time for SIS infections in heterogeneous populations

    Clancy, D., Nov 2018, In : Bulletin of Mathematical Biology. 80, 11, p. 2871-2896 26 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 18 Downloads (Pure)

    Among-site variability in the stochastic dynamics of East African coral reefs

    Allen, K. A., Bruno, J. F., Chong, F., Clancy, D., McClanahan, T. R., Spencer, M. & Zychaluk, K., 17 May 2017, In : PeerJ. 5, e3290.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    22 Downloads (Pure)

    Epidemic models, control

    Clancy, D., 22 Jun 2015, Wiley Stasref: Statistics Reference Online. Wiley, p. 1-8 8 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter