Professor Norval Strachan

Professor Norval Strachan
Previously seconded as Chief Scientific Adviser to Food Standards Scotland (2016-20)

Chair in Physics

Overview
Professor Norval Strachan
Professor Norval Strachan

Contact Details


External Memberships and Affiliations

  • Chief Scientific Adviser, Food Standards Scotland (2016-20)
  • Co-opted member of the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food group on Campylobacter
  • MRC, NSF and FSA grants review panel member.
  • ESRC peer review College member
  • External European Food Safety Authority Expert on Campylobacter in broiler chickens.
  • Co-chair CHRO 2013
  • External examiner Glasgow University (2011-2015)
  • Co-chair of FoodMicro 2008 
  • Editor of Special Edition of International Journal of Food Microbology containing papers from FoodMicro 2008.
  • Member of Editorial Board of International Journal of Food Microbiology
  • Member of Editorial Board of Water, Quality, Exposure and Health
Research

Research Overview

My main research interest is in understanding how humans become ill by infectious diseases and what can be done to reduce the burden of illness. The questions that arise in this area cannot be addressed by a single discipline and so interdisciplinary approaches and solutions are required. This area is benefiting from the synthesis of molecular biology, statistical/mathematical methods, the social sciences as well as conventional environmental, food and medical microbiology and epidemiological techniques. My main focus is on gastrointestinal pathogens that include E. coli O157 (see RELU project), Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, Salmonella, and Listeria. Listed below are my research areas:

  • Understanding the causes of human gastrointestinal disease via environmental and foodborne pathways - using quantitative microbiological risk assessment, temporal and spatial analysis tools.
  • Integrating natural and social science approaches to understand and develop interventions to mitigate the risk of infection for gastrointestinal pathogens.
  • Development of flow injection analysis and fibre optic evanescent wave sensors for rapid detection/fingerprinting of pollutants and microbiological pathogens from both food and environmental samples.
  • Image analysis and pattern recognition techniques applied to fisheries and environmental sciences. 

Research Funding and Grants

 

  1. FSS (2015-2018) Factors affecting variations in Campylobacter disease rates in Scotland, £400k with Forbes and McGuigan.
  2. EFSA (2014-2016) Listeria whole genome sequencing, 70kEURO with Forbes and Perez-Reche (Part of 420 kEURO project with SSI (Denmark), Anses (France) and PHE (England)).
  3. FSAS (2014) Decision support tool for the control of Listeria monocytogenes in smoked fish. £19.2k with Ovidiu Rotariu.
  4. FSAS & University of Aberdeen (2012-13)  Next Generation Sequencing of E. coli O157 isolates from humans, food and the environment, £30.5k, with Ken Forbes
  5. FSAS  (2013-2015) i-CaMPS-3. Employing Source Attribution and Molecular Epidemiology to measure the impact of interventions on human campylobacteriosis in Scotland, with Forbes and Maiden, £749k..
  6. FSA (2013-14) A comprehensive review of current practices in the management of Listeria monocytogenes during cooked sliced meat production and retailing, £99.4k (£24.3k to Aberdeen).
  7. OECD (2013) Exploting the explosion of information associated with next generation omics to tackle Shigatoxin producing E. coli (STEC) in global food production systems with Pascal Delaquis (Canada) and Eelco Frans (RIVM, the Netherlands) 30kEURO
  8. EU (2012-2015) Parasite risk assesment with integrated tools in EU fish production value chains –PARASITE, with Graeme Pierce and Ioannis Theodossiou (4.0MEuro, 210 kEuro to Aberdeen).
  9. BBSRC (2012-2014) Integrating microbiology and modelling to determine the source of Campylobacter infection in the broiler house and develop interventions with Ken Forbes, Iain Ogden and Nick Sparks, £295k.
  10. MRC (2012-2017). Sources, Seasonality, Transmission and Control: Campylobacter and human behavior in a changing environment, with Ken Forbes £121k.
  11. Food Standards Agency (2011-12). Employing source attribution and molecular epidemiology to measure the impact of interventions on human campylobacteriosis inScotland, extension, with Ken Forbes £156k.
  12. DFID (2012-2013) The potential of small-scale biogas digesters to improve livelihoods and long term sustainability of ecosystem services in sub-SaharanAfrica, with Jo Smith, Liz Baggs and Sean Semple, £198k.
  13. Food Standards Agency (2011-12). A review of current practices in the management of Listeria monocytogenes during smoked fish production inScotlandandNorthern England,.with Dr Mike Hutchison and Dr Kaarin Goodburn, £74k
  14. RESAS (2011-2016), RESAS Strategic Partnership for Food and Drink Science: Foodborne pathogen adaption and survival through the food chain with Ken Forbes and David Smith £212k.
  15. Food Standards Agency (2011). Employing source attribution and molecular epidemiology to measure the impact of interventions on human campylobacteriosis inScotlandwith Ken Forbes & IainOgden£141k.
  16. Food   Standards Agency,Scotland(2011), Research grant review and appraisal panel £300.
  17. Food Standards Agency,  (2011), Research grant review £150.
  18. DEFRA, Review of Research Proposals, £500.
  19. DEFRA (2011-13), Assessment of the efficacy of on-farm biosecurity measures for controlling Campylobacter £445,928 (£50k toAberdeen), with Sparks N, Forbes KJ, Humphries T, Kevill WC.
  20. Medical Research Council (2010-11). Gastrointestinal Pathogens in the Environment Network. With Ken Forbes, Colin Hunter, Iain Ogden, John Farrington, David Smith et al.,. £50k.
  21. Scottish Funding Council, Interface, (2010-11) Microbiological safety (Listeria) in the fish farming industry, £4.7k.
  22. Food Standards Agency, (2010-11). Employing Source Attribution and Molecular Epidemiology to measure the impact of interventions on human campylobacteriosis inScotland. £140k. With Ken Forbes, Iain Ogden and Martin Maiden.
  23. Food Standards Agency, Quality Meat Scotlandand National Farmers Union(2009-2012). E. coli PhD studentship, with Ken Forbes & IainOgden, £33.3k.
  24. European Food Safety Authority (2008-1010),  Scientific Opinion on Quantification of the risk posed by broiler meat to human campylobacteriosis in the EU,  approx. £2k.
  25. Relu (2009) Work shadowing in the New Zealand Food Safety Authority andFood Standards Agency,Scotland, £2k.
  26. The Scottish Government (2008-09) Provision of research on evaluation of Private Water Supplies (Scotland) Regulations 2006 with Colin Hunter, Antonio Ioris, Colette Jones and John Farrington, £44k
  27. ESRC (2008-2011) Campylobacteriosis: Elucidating the Disease Burden, Risk Perception and Costs to Rural Communities and their Families. Rural Economy & Land Use programme Tied Studentship award, Economic and Social Research Council/Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. (With C. Hunter and J. Roberts). £55K.
  28. ESRC (2007-2010) Reducing E. coli O157 risk in rural communities with Prof K Killham, Prof J Farrington, Dr C Hunter, Dr D Jones, Dr G Edwards-Jones, Mr I Ogden and Dr J Roberts,  £1.48 million FEC.
  29. EU (2007-2010) Pathogenic E. coli network with Iain Ogden. 12k EURO
  30. Food Safety InspectionService,USA. Review of Salmonella dose response model (2006) $2k.
  31. SNIFFER, Human health and the environmental impacts of using sewage sludge on Forestry and for restoration od derelict land with Prof J Ayres, Prof K Killham, Dr S Semple, Mr I Ogden (2006-07), £23.3k.
  32. FSA, MLST typing of campylobacter – support for PhD Student, with Ken Forbes and Iain Ogden (2006-08) £10k.
  33. FSA, Gegraphic and temporal variation of Campylobacteriosis in humans with Iain Ogden and Ken Forbes, (2006-2009) £121k
  34. FSA, Campylobacter in private water supplies with Iain Ogden, (2005-2008) £192k
  35. FSA, Campylobacter MLST typing extension with Ken Forbes and Iain Ogden (2008-2009) £50k
  36. FSA, Campylobacter MLST typing extension for PhD student with Ken Forbes and Iain Ogden (2005-2008) £10k
  37. FSA, Campylobacter MLST typing with Ken Forbes and Iain Ogden (2005-2008) £750k
  38. Grampian NHS Trust, Development of magnetic drug delivery devices: a novel approach to enhance delivery of chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of cancer, (2005-2006) with AC Schofield,  I Brown, SD Heys, FJ Gilbert, O Rotariu £6.5k
  39. DEFRA – Led by Universityof Oxford   2005-06– isolation, speciation and supply of genomic CampylobacterDNA for MLST typing with Iain Ogden and Ken Forbes. £8k.
  40. FSA, PhD Studentship with Iain Ogden,  (2004-2007) £20k
  41. Scantrol a/s PhD Studentship (2004-2007) £63k
  42. Norwegian Research Council, Visiting Postdoctoral worker (Anne Margrete) with Iain Ogden (2004) £4k
  43. EU, Marie Curie Fellowship with Iain Ogden (2003-2005) £71k
  44. BBSRC Committee PhD Studentship with Ken Killham (2004-2007) (est £45k)
  45. Food Standards Agency, Scotlandproject with Iain Ogden – E. coli  O157 excreted by cattle at abattoir and its affect on food poisoning (2003) £10k
  46. Carnegie Trust, Dose Response of E. coli O157.  Summer student with Geoff Dunn (2003) £1k
  47. DNV, Risk assessment of foot-and-mouth burial site (2003) £3k
  48. UniversityofAberdeen, Visiting Scholars Programme – Peter Teunis –RIVM £700.
  49. UniversityofAberdeen, Faculty of Science & Engineering PhD Studentship. Understanding the causes of human Campylobacteriosis with Geoff Dunn (2002-2005) est £45k
  50. Food Standards Agency, The effect of FMD on foodborne zoonoses (2001). (with Iain Ogden, Dept. Medical Microbiology) £2k
  51. Food Standards Agency, Application and validation of techniques for the detection of pathogens in shellfish (2000-2002) (with Iain Ogden, Dept. Medical Microbiology) £204k.
  52. Matcon,Denmark- funded project to provide Documentation System for Industrial Fish Catches (1999-02) £120k.
  53. Royal Society, Flow Immunoassay of Pollutants (1999-2001) £10k.
  54. Royal Society, Magnetic Particle Modelling with Inst. Technical Physics,Iasi,Romania(1999-2000) £2k
  55. NERC - Mathematical modelling of Tropical Forest Seed Germination and Seedling Establishment (1999-2001) with Dr David Burslem and Dr Chris Mullins £30k.

 

Teaching

Teaching Responsibilities

PX4011 Physics Honours Project - Joint co-ordinator

PX3510 Advanced Practical Physics - Co-ordinator and teacher

PX1015/6 Physics Laboratories

Publications

Publications 

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  • Impacts of different treatment methods for cattle manure on the spread of faecal indicator organisms from soil to lettuce in Nigeria

    Chukwu, V. A., Smith, J. U., Strachan, N., Avery, L. M., Obiekezie, S. O.

    Journal of Applied Microbiology

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Influence of biogas digesters on faecal indicator organisms in digestate and around homesteads In ethiopia

    Nakamya, J., Tumuhairwe, J., Sabiiti, E., Strachan, N., Avery, L., Smith, J.

    Biomass & Bioenergy, vol. 142, 105746

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • An agent-based model that simulates the spatio-temporal dynamics of sources and transfer mechanisms contributing faecal indicator organisms to streams. Part 1: Background and model description

    Neill, A. J., Tetzlaff, D., Strachan, N. J. C., Hough, R. L., Avery, L. M., Kuppel, S., Maneta, M. P., Soulsby, C.

    Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 270, 110903

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • An agent-based model that simulates the spatio-temporal dynamics of sources and transfer mechanisms contributing faecal indicator organisms to streams. Part 2: Application to a small agricultural catchment

    Neill, A. J., Tetzlaff, D., Strachan, N. J. C., Hough, R. L., Avery, L. M., Maneta, M. P., Soulsby, C.

    Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 270, 110905

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Estimating the number of COVID-19 cases being introduced into UK Higher Education Institutions during Autumn 2020

    Perez-Reche, F., Strachan, N.

    Working Papers and Discussion Papers: Working Papers

  • Reply to Baba and Kanamori

    Franz, E., Rotariu, O., Lopes, B. S., Bono, J. L., Laing, C., Gannon, V., van Hoek, A. H. A. M., Friesema, I., French, N. P., George, T., Biggs, P. J., Jaros, P., Rivas, M., Chinen, I., Campos, J., Mellor, G. E., Chandry, P. S., Perez-Reche, F., Forbes, K. J., Strachan, N. J.

    Clinical Infectious Diseases, vol. 71, no. 5, pp. 1353-1355

    Contributions to Journals: Letters

  • Agricultural intensification and the evolution of host specialism in the enteric pathogen Campylobacter jejuni

    Mourkas, E., Taylor, A. J., Méric, G., Bayliss, S. C., Pascoe, B., Mageiros, L., Calland, J. K., Hitchings, M. D., Ridley, A., Vidal, A., Forbes, K. J., Strachan, N. J. C., Parker, C. T., Parkhill, J., Jolley, K. A., Cody, A. J., Maiden, M. C. J., Kelly, D. J., Sheppard, S. K.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 117, no. 20, pp. 11018-11028

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Importance of untested infectious individuals for the suppression of COVID-19 epidemics

    Perez-Reche, F., Forbes, K., Strachan, N.

    Working Papers and Discussion Papers: Working Papers

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