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Senior Researcher in Statistical Genetics and Pathogen Dynamics

Chris Wymant

Chris Wymant

After a PhD and some postdoctoral research in theoretical particle physics, I joined the group of Christophe Fraser, at Imperial College London 2014-2016, and at the Big Data Institute since. I research the evolutionary epidemiology of viruses: how they spread, how they change, and how they damage our health. My publications are here*.

Before the pandemic, I mostly worked on the BEEHIVE project: analysing HIV genetic data, together with clinical data about the individuals with those viruses, to better understand how differences in the virus (encoded in its genetics) affect infection severity. I wrote the tools shiver for reconstructing HIV (and other viral) genomes from short pieces of DNA, and phyloscanner (with Matthew Hall and Christophe) for analysing within- and between-host pathogen genetic diversity. Here are some slides about shiver and phyloscanner and related ideas; here's a webinar in which I go through some of those slides.

Since January 2020 I've mostly been working on COVID-19, in particular using mathematical and statistical modelling to understand how helpful digital contact tracing (using mobile phone apps) is. We first proposed using this new public health intervention for COVID-19 here and first evaluated its effect on slowing viral spread here. Read more about our group's COVID-19 work here.

While at Imperial I lectured Core Mathematics for masters courses in public health and epidemiology. Here's some material I wrote for this: the quiz testing all of the material covered, and the answers; basic manipulation of numbers - the slides for 2015 and prose-style notes from 2014; inequalities, functions and units - slides for 2015, solutions to the problems, and prose-style notes from 2014; probability parts one and two; calculus in more detail; a bit of supplementary material about trigonometric, exponential and logarithmic functions, and matrices.

Assorted useful links:


*(This link provides open access to my only publication that's paywalled, on academic institutional policy on flying: Jean and Wymant, Science 2019.)

Recent publications

More publications