Dr Joshua Ross: Research

My current research is focussed on the mathematics and statistics of infectious disease dynamics and biosecurity/wildlife trade analysis. This entails research in Applied Probability, Computational Statistics and Mathematical Biology. I (co-)supervise three post-docs, seven PhD students, two MPhil students, and an Honours student, undertaking a range of projects across theoretical and applied problems in Mathematical Biology. I lead a group -- Stochastic Ecology, Epidemiology and Evolution -- of around 14 people who meet fortnightly, as part of the wider ACEMS group, to discuss research and consume coffee.

Our research is supported by the Australian Research Council, National Health and Medical Research Council, Data to Decisions CRC and DSTG/US-DTRA.

Code to accompany many of my papers, including information about the SourceForge EpiStruct Project Code, is available from my Code webpage.

Research Staff


Mr Peter Ballard, DSTG/US-DTRA Research Fellow, September 2017 - present.

Dr Robert Cope, D2D CRC Research Fellow, July 2016 - present.

Dr Thomas Prowse, NHMRC Research Fellow, September 2016 - present.


Dr Andrew Black, ARC Research Associate, September 2011 - March 2014. Andrew is now an ARC DECRA Research Fellow, University of Adelaide.

Dr Robert Cope, ARC Research Associate, June 2014 - June 2016. Robert is currently undertaking a second post-doc with me.

Dr Ali Eshragh, ARC Research Associate, May 2011 - June 2013. Ali is now a Senior Lecturer in Statistics, University of Newcastle.

Sean Robinson, contract with South Australian Government's Department for Water, September 2012 - September 2013. Sean is now PhD student overseas.

PhD Students


Peter Ballard, On the probability of epidemic fadeout, 2014 - present.

Aleisha Brock, Drug misuse and antimalarial resistance, 2013 - present (University of South Australia).

Sarah Heinrich, Quantitative assessment of the illegal global trade of pangolin species from SE-Asia & Africa, 2016 - present (School of Biological Sciences).

Dennis Liu, Early Warning Signals: The interaction of social media with vaccination and disease outbreaks, 2017 - present.

Nic Rebuli, Hybrid epidemic models, 2014 - present (submitted).

James Walker, Data augmented MCMC for partially observed stochastic epidemic models with applications in First Few Hundred studies and pandemic control, 2016 - present.

Freyja Watters, Wildlife trafficking and crime in Southeast Asia, 2016 - present (School of Biological Sciences).


Dr Kale Davies, On the derivation and application of closure approximations of cellular automata models, 2012 - 2016. Kale was awarded a Dean's Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence. He is now a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at NC State University.

Dr Pablo Garcia Diaz, Alien verterbrate risk assessment and invasion pathway modelling, 2013 - 2017 (School of Biological Sciences). Pablo was awarded a Dean's Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence. He is now a Quantitative Ecologist at Landcare Research New Zealand.

Dr David Price, On the advancement of optimal experimental design with applications to infectious diseases, 2012 - 2015. David's first appointment was as a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge. He is currently a Research Fellow in the Biostatistics Research Hub at the University of Melbourne.

Dr Mingmei Teo, Optimal allocation of vaccines in metapopulations, 2014 - 2017. Mingmei now works at DSTG in Sydney.

MPhil Students


Rachel McLean, Methods for combating the global illegal pangolin trade, 2017 - present.

Jessica Penfold, Exploring the link between weather factors and influenza dynamics, 2017 - present.


Lachlan Bubb, Modern Bayesian methods for epidemic inference with application to influenza aboard ships, 2015 - 2017. Lachie was awarded a Masters by Research Medal (1 of 2 across the University). He is now an Analyst at Quantium.

Brock Hermans, Estimation for network epidemic models, 2014 - 2015. Brock is now a Graduate Officer at the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Michael Lydeamore, Approximations of stochastic household models for comparing antiviral allocation schemes, 2013 - 2015. Michael is now a PhD student at the University of Melbourne.

Jonathon Pantelis, Household models for endemic diseases, 2015 - 2017. Jonathon is taking a break, doing some teaching and a lot of writing.

Mingmei Teo, Interval Markov chains: Performance measures and sensitivity analysis, 2012 - 2013. Mingmei commenced as a PhD student under my (co-)supervision.

James Walker, Inference for First Few Hundred studies, 2014 - 2015. James is now a PhD student under my (co-)supervision.

Honours Students



Matt Bland, Amphibious assault planning: two-dimensional bin packing with rotation and priority, 2010-2011. Matt received Honours I and continued working at SAAB Systems.

Kate Menzel, Accumulated reward in Markov reward models: Methods for the efficient evaluation of its moments with an application to conservation biology, 2011. Kate received Honours I and commenced employment at the DSTO.

Kym Wilkins, Gene drive modelling for pest eradication, 2017. Kym received Honours I and is currently deciding what to do next.