Prof Chris Thomas

BSc Zoology, PhD Zoology

Prof Chris Thomas

Contact Details


If you wish to get in touch, please contact Chris' Executive Personal Assistant, Charles Lloyd Harvey, on:

Phone: 01970 622008


Chris was born in Manchester, England but raised in Vancouver, Canada.

He was awarded his PhD in Zoology at Glasgow University in 1994 studying ravens and habitat in the west highlands of Scotland. In 1994 he also joined the faculty at Durham University as lecturer, then senior lecturer, where his research focused on ecological applications of geographic information and spatial population dynamics, particularly in disease vectors. He moved to Aberystwyth University in 2007 to take up the CIRRE Chair in Ecological Modeling and in 2013 was also appointed Chair in Zoology. Chris is an active researcher, leading a team in vector-borne disease hazard mapping and spatial epidemiology using mathematical models, remote sensing & GIS, including in relation to climate change. Much of his group's work in recent years has focused on human malaria in Africa. This research is highly interdisciplinary and Chris collaborates with medics, public health, social scientists, physical geographers, mathematicians and computer scientists. He has published over 60 papers and won research awards totaling over £12m.

Additional Information

Current Awards

NERC: FLOODMAL Malaria vector spatial dynamics in the Zambezi floodplain. Principal Investigator

Recent Awards

NERC : HYDROMAL Hydro-dynamic drivers of malaria transmission hazard in Africa. Principal Investigator.
EU: ANIMALCHANGE Climate change impacts on spread of infectious vector-borne diseases. Task leader. ESPA (RCUK) Partnership and Project Development award. Mapping ecosystem services for agricultural improvement and human health in sub-Saharan Africa. Principal Investigator.
NIH. (NIH/NIEHS), USA: Participatory natural resource management to mitigate health inequities in Africa with a focus on the impacts of human conflicts over natural resources on health-related behaviour with specific reference to malaria. Co-Investigator.



Spatial Ecology

  • disease transmission in relation to vector ecology, landscape composition, structure and dynamics;
  • effect of climate and environmental change on these processes;
  • spatial scaling of these processes.

We employ a broad range of analytical and geographic techniques (e.g. spatial statistical and simulation modelling, Geographic Information Systems, remote sensing and image processing) in addition to traditional field ecological methods. Coupling ecology with geography provides exciting opportunities to link theory to the real world. However, it is clear that the research agenda for many complex ecological systems spans a number of disciplinary boundaries and I often collaborate with scientists from other areas.

Current work includes: developing ecological field and modelling approaches to understand spatial patterns of vector population dynamics and vector-borne disease transmission at local to landscape scales; field, remote sensing and modelling projects for local scale prediction of malaria vector hotspots to plan interventions in Gambia, Tanzania and Zambia; modeling malaria and projected climate in Africa; statistical modelling of climate change impact on vector-borne/intermediate host disease distributions.

Research Team

Donall Cross (PGRA HYDROMAL, PGRA Co-Investigator FLOODMAL)
Dr Nelis Drost (PhD, PDRA, currently at UCL)
Dr Javier Gamarra (Research Fellow , Co-Investigator HYDROMAL, currently at FAO)
Dr Andrew Hardy (PGRA HYDROMAL, now Lecturer in DGES, Co-Investigator FLOODMAL)
Dr Hefin Williams (PhD, PDRA ANIMALCHANGE, now Lecturer in IBERS)