Chriselda became interested in numerical analysis and stochastics during the final year of her bachelor’s degree at St. Joseph’s University, Bangalore where she majored in economics, mathematics and statistics, alongside working as a research assistant under Associate Professor Dr. María González Taboada, Universidade da Coruña to explore the numerical FEM methods for convection-diffusion and viscoelastic fluid problems.

Chriselda then went on to take a master’s in mathematics at the University of Leeds as a Tetley Lupton scholar during which she also undertook a research internship at the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Biology, Plön, Germany. This saw her working with the stochastic evolutionary dynamics group and making use of her growing expertise in advanced mathematical biology.

This experience, plus a summer project at the University of Oxford, under Senior Group Leader of NTD, Dr. Deirdre Hollingsworth in investigating cost effectiveness of surveillance for lymphatic filariasis, particularly of low-income countries, helped develop her interest in health economics and its application in public health. Chriselda also had a growing fascination for what she describes as “hardcore mathematical modelling of disease outbreaks”.

She says that the HDR UK PhD programme stood out because of the initial foundation year: “I really enjoy the fact it gives a lot of flexibility in the first year to explore different topics by doing project rotations.”

She also feels that she will benefit greatly from the support the highly experienced programme team can provide in helping her make decisions about her next three years.

Looking to the future Chriselda is attracted to the possibility of a research career in academia or industry.