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Mathematical modelling for safe, yet effective, pesticide development and usage

   Department of Mathematical Sciences

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  Dr Jane White  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Supervisory team:
Dr Jane White (Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Bath)
Dr Begona Delgado-Charro (Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University of Bath)
Neil Morgan (Syngenta)
Bob Parr-Dobrazanski (Syngenta)
Joshua Fernandes (Syngenta)

Pesticide usage remains globally widespread despite concerns over environmental and health impacts and so understanding how to make effective products that minimise negative impact is a significant and important problem. There are many aspects to the problem. One that may not be immediately obvious is how to create pesticide products that are highly effective on the agricultural crop but which are safe to be handled by workers. For example, pesticide sprays need to be developed so that they penetrate leaf surfaces effectively but are not well absorbed into the skin.

This project is about creating and analysing a series of mathematical models that can be used to compare and contrast pesticide absorption through leaf surfaces and human skin and to begin to understand how different pesticide components contribute to the optimal solution of high leaf, but negligible skin, penetration. Working with colleagues from Syngenta means that there will be data available to estimate model parameters and to validate the model outputs.

The project is closely linked to the SAMBa CDT ( and the successful student will have access to the wide range of opportunities offered within that CDT and, more widely, within the Department of Mathematical Sciences. There will be many opportunities to participate in research workshops, attend conferences and to meet with colleagues from Syngenta to discuss progress with the project.

Informal enquiries: Dr K A Jane White (lead supervisor) [Email Address Removed]

Anticipated start date: March 2018 or earlier.

Applicants should apply via the University of Bath’s online application form choosing the PhD programme in Mathematical Sciences. More information on how to apply may be found here:

Early application is strongly recommended as the position will be filled once a suitable candidate is found.

Funding Notes

The successful candidate will receive a full studentship including Home/EU tuition fees, a training support fee of £1,000 per annum and a tax-free maintenance allowance of £14,553 per annum (2017/18 rate) for up to 3.5 years.

Note: This studentship is open to UK and EU applicants only; unfortunately, applicants who are classed as Overseas for fee paying purposes are NOT eligible to receive the funding.

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