Dr Anna Foss
in Public Health Education and Mathematical Epidemiology
15-17 Tavistock Place
I joined LSHTM in July 2001 after graduating with a Masters of Mathematics Honours Degree (First Class) from the University of Manchester.
Alongside my work at LSHTM, I completed a part-time staff-PhD (awarded June 2007), titled: 'Mathematical modelling of HIV/STI transmission and prevention: methodological issues when dealing with uncertainty'.
In June 2010, I was awarded a Distinction for my Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching (Full Certificate - Modules 1 and 2).
I am a Fellow Member of The Higher Education Academy.
A Director of LEARN – the Learning and Educational Advances Research Network - promoting best practice in learning and teaching through educational research (since November 2015).
Partnering with alumni and students on a project (2018-2020) to develop a virtual peer mentorship scheme for Public Health MSc students undertaking a research project via distance learning.
Undertaking public engagement activities in primary and secondary schools (since September 2017), including talking about PhDs, research/science careers and mathematical modelling of infectious diseases, with some children (aged 8-11) building a compartmental model in Excel and others using doubling methods to make predictions.
Educational Supervisor for the Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching (PGCILT) and conducted PGCILT Summative Teaching Observations (2010 - 2012, and again since November 2015).
Distance Learning Tutor - Assessor for:
- PHM101 Basic Epidemiology (since June 2016)
- PHM202 Communicable Disease Control (Feb 2014 - April 2016)
- EPM302 Modelling and Dynamics of Infectious Diseases (since June 2013)
PHM305 Project Module Organiser and Project Supervisor for the Public Health PGDip/MSc by Distance Learning (since Oct 2008).
PhD Advisor on Advisory Committees (since Sept 2008).
PhD Supervisor (Sept 2008 - Sept 2015 and since January 2018).
Educational Developer coordinating the academic side of facilitating the expansion of Distance Learning MSc Modules as Standalone Short Courses, including developing promotional and supporting materials, canvassing opinions of senior teaching staff, and working with the Head of Registry on a marketing strategy (Oct 2010 - Sept 2011).
Educational Developer using e-Learning technologies to produce an induction package of study skills materials for Distance Learning and London-based MSc students - leading on the Basic Maths component while also coordinating and contributing to the development of the other components, e.g. Statistics and Epidemiology, English for Academic Purposes, and guidance from the Library (Oct 2010 - Sept 2011).
Course Director for the Faculty of Public Health & Policy contribution to the Control of Infectious Diseases MSc and Public Health in Developing Countries MSc (summing to over 4 years within period 2007 - 2012).
Basic Maths Support Coordinator / Module Organiser (2007 - 2012) and Seminar Leader in the Basic Maths Support Sessions (2002 - 2012).
I am a senior modeller in the Social and Mathematical Epidemiology (SaME) Research Group with over sixteen years of experience working on mathematical modelling of HIV/STI transmission, and the impact of prevention interventions in different Asian, African and South American settings, commonly working in close collaboration with overseas partners.
My methodological specialism is in handling uncertainty in mathematical modelling and using mathematics to explore epidemiological questions. I have built up a large body of work in this area, developing mathematical methods of different levels of complexity to address specific HIV/STI transmission questions, with explicit consideration of the structural and parametric uncertainties in model projections. This work has included analyses reflecting the biological uncertainty associated with herpes-HIV interactions, the epidemiological and delivery uncertainties associated with introducing new HIV prevention technologies, such as microbicides, and the behavioural uncertainties associated with trying to make projections about marginalised and hidden groups, such as men who have sex with men in southern India. My methodological specialism also forms the basis of my involvement with colleagues in the Department of Social and Environmental Health Research (SEHR) on handling behavioural uncertainty when modelling health in the urban environment. My work has included developing approaches to model simplification, exploring parametric uncertainty and using model fitting techniques to infer improved estimates for key uncertain parameters.
My current research interests have also recently expanded to educational/pedagogical research to explore various issues in learning and teaching. For example, I have posted a comment (fourth in the list) in response to an article in the Times Higher Education. I also facilitated a workshop exploring the concepts of creativity and innovation at the 2016 annual conference of the Staff and Educational Development Association. Alongside this, I wrote a review of a book about learners struggling with mathematics.