I have the following degrees from the University of Cambridge,

  • MA (Cantab) Natural Sciences (specialising in Plant Science)
  • MRes Biological Science
  • PhD Theoretical and Computational Biology

Evolutionary Genetics


  • Fra├»sse, C., Elderfield, J.A.D. and Welch, J.J. (2014), The genetics of speciation: are complex incompatibilities easier to evolve?. J. Evol. Biol., 27: 688-699. doi:10.1111/jeb.12339

In this project we investigated how "difficult" different kinds of genetic incompatibility might be to evolve. This project involved both computational simulation and analytical reasoning. My main contribution was on the simulation side, writing the program and analysing the output.

Plant Breeding


  • Ladejobi, O., Elderfield, J., Gardner, K.A., Gaynor, C., Hickey, J. , Hibberd, J.M., Mackay, I.J. and Bentley, R.A. (2016), Maximizing the potential of multi-parental crop populations. Applied & Translation Genomics, 11: 9-17.
  • Fradgley, N., Gardner, K.A., Cockram, J., Elderfield, J., Hickey, J.M., Howell, P., Jackson, R. and Mackay, I.J. (2019) A large-scale pedigree resource of wheat reveals evidence for adaptation and selection by breeders. PLoS biology, 17(2): e3000071.

My main contribution to this work was in producing the simulation software being used, GeneDrop ( This software takes in specifications of plant genotypes and a breeding plan, and simulates out the expected distribution of offspring genotypes.

Plant Epidemiology


  • Elderfield, J.A.D., Lopez-Ruiz, F.J., van den Bosch, F. and Cunniffe, N.J. (2018) Using Epidemiological Principles to Explain Fungicide Resistance Management Tactics: Why do Mixtures Outperform Alternations?. Phytopathology, 108(7): 803-817.

This work was the main focus of my PhD studies. We investigated, via simulation and some simple analytical math, how different application strategies influence the effectiveness and longevity of fungicide in agricultural settings.



  • Patrick, M., Elderfield, J., Stutt, R.O.J.H, Rice, A. and Gilligan, C. A (2016) Software testing in a scientific research group. SAC '16: Proceedings of the 31st Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, 1454-1459.