Staff, Students, and Associates

Dr Helen Kettle
Principal Researcher in Process & Systems Modelling


Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland
JCMB, The King's Buildings, Peter Guthrie Tait Road,
EDINBURGH, EH9 3FD, Scotland, UK.

Google Scholar Profile


I lead the Process and Systems Modelling team at BioSS as well co-leading the Large Scale and Sectoral Modelling theme on the RESAS strategic research programme. I develop process-based models of biological systems, generally using ordinary or delay differential equations. Since joining BioSS my research has focussed on two main topics - microbial communities and crop pests (see below).

I am also the Open Science Champion at BioSS. Sharing my work is others is very important to me and I endeavour to release all of my code in user-friendly packages where possible - please see my software page and my github repo for more info.

Current research

Modelling Microbial Communities

I am interested in the dynamic modelling (based on ordinary differential equations) of microbial communities in the human colon. Particularly in modelling the emergent dynamics of these complex systems.

Royal Society Blog post on modelling gut microbes

Microbial case studies: Modelling Gut Bacteria, Diversity maintenance through pH self-regulation


Selected Papers

Modelling Crop Pathogens

I have worked on a number of projects involving modelling crop pests, e.g., potato cyst nematodes (PCN), rice pests (LEGATO project) and more recently the cabbage stem flea beetle. These all involve stage-structured populations which I model using time-delay differential equations or integro-differential equations. I have written an R package (stagePop - see below) which solves these type of equations for a wide range of pests and can also include pest-predator-parasitoid interactions.

Software: stagePop: an R-package to model stage-structured populations and any number of interacting populations (e.g. parasitoids and predators).

Selected Papers


Outside of work I enjoy running, cycling and hiking!

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