Rachel obtained a PhD in Mathematics at the University of Exeter in 2011. Her thesis focused on spatiotemporal modelling of dengue epidemics in Brazil. She held postdoctoral positions at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Italy and the Catalan Institute for Climate Sciences, working at the interface of climate prediction science and public health decision-making. From 2016-2021 she was a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, where she served on the management committee of the Centre on Climate Change & Planetary Health and led the vector-borne disease theme of the Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases. Rachel now leads the Global Health Resilience Team at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) Earth Science Department. She is Executive Director of the Lancet Countdown in Europe, a transdisciplinary collaboration tracking progress on health and climate change.
Rachel’s research involves modelling the impact of environmental change on infectious disease epidemics, to inform disease control and prevention strategies. She has published high impact research on modelling climate-sensitive disease risk, with a focus on integrating seasonal climate forecasts in dengue early warning systems in the Americas and Southeast Asia. Her group works on diverse projects including disentangling the role of land-use change and socio-economic pressures on malaria resurgence in the Amazon, modelling zoonotic disease risk at the human-animal-environment interface, and understanding the role of climate, cities and spatial connectivity on disease spread and establishment. In 2018, she won the International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases (ISNTD) Water Award for Research, in recognition of the quality of her research on the linkages between hydrometeorological extremes and dengue outbreaks and the multi-sectoral relevance for policy and practice.