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Dynamical Systems Wheat Chain Modelling PDRA
Whiteknights Reading UK

Job reference: SRF41621 - R

Location: Whiteknights Reading UK

Closing date: 30/08/2022

Job live date: 03/08/2022

Salary: £31,406 to £36,383 per annum

Employment type: AR-Research

Department: School of Mathematical Physical & Computational Sciences

Division: Mathematics & Statistics

Hours per week: 1.00 FTE

Employment Basis/Type: Full-time, Fixed-term up to 3 years

“Hi-Fi Bread: Increasing UK Dietary Fibre – The Case for the Great White British Loaf” comprises a team of academics and industry members of the UK wheat supply chain focused on investigating how the UK can sustainably transform to supplying fibre-rich white bread to UK consumers. Further details on the project can be found at

We are seeking a talented and enthusiastic PDRA to develop and analyse mathematical models of the UK wheat supply chain using compartmentalised systems of nonlinear ordinary differential equations (ODEs). These will be informed using public and industry data and analysed using dynamical systems theory. You will join an enthusiastic group of food and behavioural scientists, economists, wheat experts and mathematical, climate and food chain modellers working at the Universities of Reading and Leeds, as well as Rothamsted Research, collaborating with industrial partners and their representative bodies across the UK wheat supply chain. You will be one of six PDRAs working across the project. Specific duties linked to the post include:

  1. Develop simplified and detailed network models of the UK wheat chain using the theory of nonlinear ODEs;
  2. Interact closely with project partners across the UK wheat supply chain to inform the formulation, parameterisation, and testing of the Wheat Chain Models (WCMs);
  3. Integrate the WCMs with data from the General Large Area Model for annual crops (GLAM) and Land Use Allocation Model (LUAM) to inform sustainable transformation of the UK wheat supply chain to provide fibre-rich white bread in the short, medium, and longer term (up to 50 years), whilst accounting for climate change, UK seasonal weather variation and other wheat supply needs; and
  4. Develop a graphical user interface (GUI) to specific WCMs that can be accessed by members of the UK wheat supply chain and policy makers to aid in planning and risk modelling.

Based in the Mathematical Biology Group in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics at the University of Reading (Whiteknights Campus) under the supervision of Prof Marcus Tindall, you will work with industry partners and other project PDRAs to develop the WCMs. Your work will entail site visits to project partners and regular face-to-face and online meetings with them and other members of the project team. There will be the opportunity to present your work at international conferences and publish your work in leading international journals. The Mathematical Biology Group at Reading is recognised internationally for its work in a range of application areas in collaboration with leading groups in academia and industry. This project focuses on the group’s continued development of its Environment and Food Modelling theme.

The Department of Mathematics & Statistics is a vibrant department hosting a number of world leading research groups covering applied and pure mathematics and statistics. Further details on the Department, its research groups and activities can be found at The University of Reading award winning 130-hectare Whiteknights Campus is based just south of Reading town centre, with close links to the town centre, national rail networks and Heathrow airport.

Interviews will be held on 23 September 2022

Informal contact details

Alternative informal contact details

Contact role:


Contact role:

Project Co-Investigator

Contact name:

Marcus Tindall

Contact name:

Andy Challinor

Contact phone:

+44(0)118 378 8989

Contact phone:

+44(0) 113 343 3194

Contact email:

Contact email:


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​​​​​​​Applications from job seekers who require sponsorship to work in the UK are welcome and will be considered alongside all other applications. By reference to the applicable SOC code for this role, sponsorship may be possible under the Skilled Worker Route.  Applicants should ensure that they are able to meet the points requirement under the PBS.  There is further information about this on the UK Visas and Immigration Website.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​The University is committed to having a diverse and inclusive workforce, supports the gender equality Athena SWAN Charter and the Race Equality Charter, and is a Diversity Champion for Stonewall, the leading LGBT+ rights organisation. Applications for job-share, part-time and flexible working arrangements are welcomed and will be considered in line with business needs.


The closing date for this job has now passed.


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