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Olivier Restif

Quantitative tools for One Health research in infectious diseases

I lead a diverse, multi-disciplinary team working on a range of infectious diseases within a One Health framework. We use mathematical and statistical models to design, analyse and interpret empirical studies of infectious disease dynamics. 


1. Within-host dynamics of bacterial infections.

Laboratory animal models provide important data on the dynamics of bacterial infection inside a living organism, but observations are limited. Using mathematical models, my aim is to extract as much information as possible from experimental data to make inference about the unobserved processes that drive the spatiotemporal dynamics of bacteria. In particular, I try to assess variations in the replication and death rates of bacteria, and their spread within and among tissues.

Team members: Myrto Vlazaki, Ido Ben-Zvi.

My work covers several bacterial pathogens thanks to a fantastic network of collaborators:

- Salmonella enterica, with Andrew Grant and Piero Mastroeni (in this Department), Dirk Bumann (Basel University), Emma Slack and Wolf Hardt (ETH Zurich).

- Bordetella bronchiseptica, with Eric Harvill (University of Georgia) and Monica Cartelle Gestal (Louisiana State University).

- Optimal experimental design, with David Price (University of Melbourne)

Funding: BBSRC, MRC.


2. Mapping multi-drug resistance in bacteria.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major threat to human and animal health. Multi-drug resistance is a particular concern, and is increasingly reported using genetic (sequencing) or phenotypic (growth inhibition assay) tools. However, analysing and interpreting these complex datasets requires sophisticated and ofter tailor-made computational techniques. We are investigating the epidemiology and evolution of multi-drug resistance in pathogenic, commensal and zoonotic bacterial pathogens in farm animals.

Team members: Andrew Balmer, Ruchita Balasubramanian.

Collaborators: Mark Holmes, Lucy Weinert (Cambridge), Jose Vazquez-Boland (Edinburgh).


3. Zoonotic disease ecology and epidemiology.

The emergence of new viruses from bats in the last 30 years has drawn the attention of a broad scientific community to the ecology and immunology of this diverse group of mammals. We have established a successful international collaboration with Ghana and Australia to study fruit bats, their ecology, their viruses and their interactions with people. My team also investigates some of the challenges posed by zoonotic and emerging diseases (e.g. rabies, hemorrhagic fevers and COVID-19) in low-and-middle-income countries.

Team members: Aaron Morris, Elinor Jax, Emma Glennon, Rakesh Chand, Alexandra Oti.


- Richard Suu Ire, Osbourne Quaye and Kofi Bonney (University of Ghana)

- Andrew Cunningham (Institute of Zoology, ZSL)

- Raina Plowright (Montana State University)

- Hamish McCallum and Alison Peel (Griffith University)

 Funding: NSF, The Royal Society, AXA Foundation, DARPA.


Selected Publications

Google Scholar profile


 Olivier Restif

Dr Olivier Restif

Alborada Lecturer in Epidemiology

    Plain English

    I develop mathematical models to simulate the dynamics of diseases, either within an infected animal or across populations. I collaborate with microbiologists who study bacterial infections in the laboratory, and with ecologists who track diseases in wildlife.


    Olivier is currently accepting applications for PhD students. Olivier is also available for consultancy.