Professional summary

Research Interests

I lead the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology’s Disease Ecology Group (based at Wallingford) and direct research on ecology of pests and pathogen systems and invasive species including impacts of environmental change drivers. My objective is to translate ecological understanding and models of pest and pathogen systems into guidelines and frameworks for disease risk management. I use state-of-the-art ecological and spatial modelling techniques, large scale environmental and ecological datasets and empirical field studies. Current research themes include; ecology and spread of emerging midge-borne and forest Phytophthora pathogens, landscape ecology of UK mosquito vectors, modelling pests as ecosystem disservices.

Brief CV

Recent Research Projects

PHYTOTHREATS: Global Threats from Phytophthora species, a collaborative research project from the Living with Environmental Change Programme and part of the Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Initiative

EDENext: the biology and control of vector-borne infections in Europe, a large collaborative EU-funded research project within which CEH links midge ecology to predictive models for midge-borne diseases

Monitoring and intervention strategies for bluetongue virus epidemics in rural India funded by DFID/BBSRC/SG

VMERGE: a large collaborative EU-funded research project within which CEH is understanding midge-borne disease transmission by modelling and mapping interactions between midge vectors and their wild and domestic hosts at the landscape level

Horizon-scanning and Risk Assessment for Pathogens and Invasive species (HARM), a large National Capability project for CEH that develops generic frameworks for understanding and predicting the arrival, establishment and spread of pathogens and pests under environmental change

Consultancy to EPIC: network of animal diseases to which CEH contributes expertise in vector ecology, modelling and mapping  

PhD Student supervision

David Ewing (NERC): [Modelling the phenological effects of multiple environmental drivers on mosquito populations. What is needed for the mosquito perfect storm? Glasgow University, 2013-present]

Mudassar Chanda (BBSRC/DFID/SG): [Identifying key drivers of patterns in bluetongue virus and its Culicoides biting midge vectors in Southern India using statistical and biological approaches, Oxford University, 2010-2015]

Nick Golding, PhD (CEH): [Mapping and understanding the distributions of potential vector mosquitoes in the UK: New methods and applications. Oxford University, 2010-2013]

Richard Comont (NERC): [Modelling the impact of an alien invasion: Harmonia axyridis in Britain. Oxford University, BBSRC Rothamsted, 2010-2013]  

Lara Salido, PhD (NERC): [Why are some species more vulnerable to environmental changes than others? Passerines as a model taxon. University of Liverpool. 2008-2013]

Lara Harrup (BBSRC): [The Influence of Farm-Level Factors on Midge Abundance and Transmission of Arboviruses. Oxford University, Pirbright Institute, 2006-2010]

Employment History:

December 2007–2014: Senior Scientific Officer (5) and Disease Ecology Group Leader, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

December 2007–2014: Senior Scientific Officer (5), Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

December 2004 – December 2007: Post-Doctoral Scientist, Oxford University. BBSRC grant on risk of bluetongue to livestock in the UK.

April 2002– December 2004: Post-Doctoral Scientist, Pirbright Institute. FP6 EU project, mapping the risk of bluetongue, a devastating midge-borne disease of livestock across Europe.

Qualifications: PhD, University of Liverpool, Ecology and Conservation of the Southern Damselfly, Coenagrion mercuriale (2001). Ba (Hons) Zoology 2:1, Oxford University (1997)

Recent Selected Publications

1.            Napp, S., Allepuz, A., Purse, B.V., Casal, J., García-Bocanegra, I., Burgin, L.E.,& Searle, K.R. (2016) Understanding Spatio-Temporal Variability in the Reproduction Ratio of the Bluetongue (BTV-1) Epidemic in Southern Spain (Andalusia) in 2007 Using Epidemic Trees. PLoS ONE 11(3): e0151151. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0151151

2.            Golding, N. & Purse, B.V. (2016). Fast and flexible Bayesian species distribution modelling using Gaussian processes. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. doi: 10.1111/2041-210X.12523.

3.            Golding, N., Nunn, M.A., & Purse, B.V. (2015). Identifying biotic interactions which drive the spatial distribution of a mosquito community. Parasites & vectors 8.

4.            Beckmann, B.C., Purse, B.V., Roy, D.B., Roy, H.E., Sutton, P.G., and Thomas, C.D. (2015). Two Species with an Unusual Combination of Traits Dominate Responses of British Grasshoppers and Crickets to Environmental Change. PloS one 10.

5.            Purse B.V., Golding, N. (2015) Tracking the distribution and impacts of diseases with biological records and distribution modelling. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 115, 664-677.

6.            Bessell, P. R., Robinson, R. A., Golding, N., Searle, K. R., Handel, I. G., Boden, L. A., Purse, B. V. and Bronsvoort, B. M. d. C. (2014), Quantifying the Risk of Introduction of West Nile Virus into Great Britain by Migrating Passerine Birds. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases. doi: 10.1111/tbed.12310

7.            Purse, B.V., Carpenter, S., Bellis, G., Venter, G., Mullens, B. (2015) Binomics of temperate and tropical Culicoides: Knowledge gaps and consequences for transmission of Culicoides-borne diseases.  Annual Review of Entomology 60. 373-392.

8.            Hartemink, N., Vanwambeke, S. O., Purse, B. V., Gilbert, M. and Van Dyck, H. (2015), Towards a resource-based habitat approach for spatial modelling of vector-borne disease risks. Biological Reviews Biological Reviews 90, 1151-1162. doi: 10.1111/brv.12149

9.            Purse, B.V., Comont, R. Butler, A., Brown, P.M.J., Kessell, C., Roy, H.E. (2015) Landscape, climate and colour pattern polymorphism in determining patterns of spread of the alien ladybird Harmonia axyridis Journal of Biogeography. doi: 10.1111/jbi.12423.

10.          Searle, K. R., F Stubbins, K Labuschagne, S Carpenter, A Butler, E Denison, C Sanders, P S. Mellor, A Wilson, N Nelson, S Gubbins, & B V. Purse (2014) Environmental drivers of Culicoides phenology: how important is species-specific variation when determining disease policy? PLOS ONE. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111876

11.          Bessell, P.R., Auty, H.K., Searle, K.R., Handel, I.G., Purse, B.V., Bronsvoort, B.Md.C. (2014) Impact of temperature, feeding preference and vaccination on Schmallenberg virus transmission in Scotland. Scientific  Reports 2014, 4.

12.          Comont, R.F., Roy, H. E., Harrington, R., Shortall, C.R., Purse, B. V., (2014) Ecological correlates of local extinction and colonisation in the British ladybird beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Biological Invasions 2014, 16(9):1805-1817.

13.          Comont, R. F., Purse, B. V., Phillips, W., Kunin, W.E., Hanson, M., Lewis, O. T., Harrington, R., Shortall, C. R., Roy, H. E. (2014) Escape from parasitism by the invasive alien ladybird, Harmonia axyridis. Insect  Conservation and Diversity, 7(4):334-342.

14.          Harrup, L.E., Gubbins, S., Barber, J.,  Denison, E. , Mellor, P.S.,  Purse, B.V., Carpenter, S. (2014)  Does covering of farm-associated Culicoides larval habitat reduce emerging adult populations in the United Kingdom? Veterinary Parasitology, 201(1-2):137-145.

15.          Carpenter, S., Groschup, M., Garros, C., Felippe Bauer, M.L., Purse, B.V.  (2013) Culicoides, Arboviruses and Public Health in Europe, Antiviral Research. 100, 1, 102-113

16.          Shaw, A.E., Mellor, D.J., Purse, B.V., Shaw, P.E., McCorkell, B.F., Palmarini, M., Transmission of Schmallenberg virus in a housed dairy herd in the UK Veterinary Record vetrec-2013-101983 Published Online First: 6 November 2013 doi:10.1136/vr.101983

17.          Bessell PR, Searle KR, Auty HK, Handel IG, Purse BV, MB deC Bronsvoort (2013) Epidemic potential of an emerging vector borne disease in a marginal environment: Schmallenberg in Scotland; Scientific Reports.

18.          Harrup, L.E., Purse, B.V., Golding, N., Mellor, P.S., Carpenter, S.T. (2013) Larval development and emergence sites of farm-associated Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in the United Kingdom, Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 27, 441-449

19.          Purse B. V., Graeser P, Searle K, Edwards C, Harris C. (2013) Challenges in predicting invasive reservoir hosts of emerging pathogens: mapping Rhododendron ponticum as a foliar host for Phytophthora ramorum and Phytophthora kernoviae in the UK. Biological Invasions: 1-17 doi:10.1007/s10530-012-0305-y

20.          B. V. Purse, S. J. Gregory, P.Harding, H. Roy. (2013) Micro habitat use governs range size and fill of saprophagous (litter-transforming) macroarthropods –a case study of British woodlice (Isopoda: Oniscidea). European Journal of Entomology 109(4): 543–552 

21.          K.R. Searle, A. Blackwell, D. Falconer, M. Sullivan, A. Butler and B.V. Purse (2012) Identifying environmental drivers of insect phenology across space and time: Culicoides in Scotland as a case study. Bulletin of Entomological Research, Available on CJO 2012 doi:10.1017/S0007485312000466

22.          Purse, B.V., Falconer, D., Sullivan, M.J., Carpenter, S., Mellor, P.S., Piertney, S.B., Mordue (Luntz), A.J, Albon, S., Gunn, G.J., & Blackwell, A. (2012), Impacts of climate, host and landscape factors on Culicoides species in Scotland.  Medical and Veterinary Entomology 26 (2), 168-177.

23.          Sedda, L., Brown, H.E., Purse, B.V., Burgin, L., Gloster, J.; Rogers, D. J. (2012) A new algorithm quantifies the roles of wind and midge flight activity in the bluetongue epizootic in northwest Europe.  Proceedings of the Royal Society, Biological sciences 279(1737), 2354-62.

24.          Harrup, L.E., Logan, J.G., Cook. J., Golding, N., Birkett, M.A., Pickett, J.A., Sanders, C., .Rogers, D.J., Mellor, P.S., Purse, B.V., Carpenter, S. (2012) Collection of Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) using CO2 and Enantiomers of 1-octen-3-ol in the United Kingdom. Journal of Medical Entomology 49(1), 112-121.

25.          Golding, N., Nunn, M.A., Medlock, J.M., Purse, B.V., Vaux, A.G.C.  & Schäfer, S.M. (2012) West Nile virus vector Culex modestus established in southern England. Parasites and Vectors,  5, 32, DOI: 10.1186/1756-3305-5-32.

26.          Smith, P.; Black, H.; Evans, C.; Hails, R.; Thomson, A.; Hesketh, H.; Johnson, A.; May, L.; Pickup, R.; Purse, B.; Ashmore, M., & others. 2011 Regulating services [chapter 14]. In: UK National Ecosystem Assessment. Understanding nature's value to society. Technical Report. Cambridge, UNEP-WCMC, 535-596.

27.          S.M. Smart, P.A. Henrys, B.V. Purse, J.M. Murphy, M.J. Bailey, R.H. Marrs (2012) Clarity or confusion? – Problems in attributing large-scale ecological changes to anthropogenic drivers. Ecological Indicators 20, 51-56.

28.          O’Hare, M.T., Gunn, I.D.M., Chapman, D.S., Dudley, B.J., & Purse, B.V. (2012)  Impacts of space, local environment and habitat connectivity on macrophyte communities in conservation lakes. Diversity and Distributions, 1–12. DOI: 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2011.00860.x

29.          Salido, L., Purse, B. V., Marrs, R., Chamberlain, D. E. and Schultz, S. (2012), Flexibility in phenology and habitat use act as buffers to long-term population declines in UK passerines. Ecography. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2011.06797.x

30.          Comont, R. F., Roy, H. E., Lewis, O. T., Harrington, R., Shortall, C. R. and Purse, B. V. (2012), Using biological traits to explain ladybird distribution patterns. Journal of Biogeography, 39: 1772–1781. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2012.02734.x