Andrew Dobson

Andy is using agent based models to explore how ranger patrols and poachers interact, and what this means for protected area management.

Photo credit: Andrew Dobson


skype: a_d_m_dobson

School of GeoSciences,
University of Edinburgh,


After my first degree, in Ecology at Durham University, I completed a PhD at Nottingham, studying various aspects of the ecology of Hen Harriers. In my first postdoctoral position, at the University of Oxford, I developed mathematical models to describe the population dynamics of the sheep tick, a disease vector of significant medical and veterinary importance. I continued work on vector-borne disease transmission during a two-year fellowship at the University of Stirling, prior to joining the Conservation Science Group at Edinburgh in 2016.

Current Research

I am a postdoctoral researcher on the project Learning From Observational Data To Improve Protected Area Management

Research Interests

I started out as a card-carrying field ornithologist, but have gradually morphed into an ecological modeller with rather broader taxonomic affinities… I am particularly interested in building process-based simulation models to describe complex ecological systems, which have included ticks, hosts and pathogens, birds and wind-turbines, water-fleas and bacteria, and – currently – poachers, rangers and wildlife. I write mainly in R and Julia languages. I once shoe-horned Voltaire’s Candide (1759) into the references in a scientific paper.

Peer Reviewed Papers

For a full list of my published papers, please refer to my Google Scholar profile