Imperial College London

Prof. PJ Beaghton

Faculty of EngineeringInstitute for Security Science & Technology

Professor of Practice (Computing), Security Science Fellow (ISST)



p.beaghton Website




Level 2 Admin OfficeCentral LibrarySouth Kensington Campus





Publication Type

6 results found

Nikolov M, Ouedraogo A, Beaghton A, Beaghton P, Wenger E, Burt A, Welkhoff Pet al., 2018, POPULATION SEASONALITY AND RELEASE TIMING SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECT THE PROBABILITY OF ESTABLISHMENT FOR SMALL RELEASES OF GENE DRIVE MOSQUITOES, 67th Annual Meeting of the American-Society-of-Tropical-Medicine-and-Hygiene (ASTHM), Publisher: AMER SOC TROP MED & HYGIENE, Pages: 367-367, ISSN: 0002-9637

Conference paper

Beaghton AK, Beaghton PJ, Burt A, 2017, Vector control with driving Y chromosomes: modelling the evolution of resistance, Malaria Journal, Vol: 16, ISSN: 1475-2875

BackgroundThe introduction of new malaria control interventions has often led to the evolution of resistance, both of the parasite to new drugs and of the mosquito vector to new insecticides, compromising the efficacy of the interventions. Recent progress in molecular and population biology raises the possibility of new genetic-based interventions, and the potential for resistance to evolve against these should be considered. Here, population modelling is used to determine the main factors affecting the likelihood that resistance will evolve against a synthetic, nuclease-based driving Y chromosome that produces a male-biased sex ratio. MethodsA combination of deterministic differential equation models and stochastic analyses involving branching processes and Gillespie simulations is utilized to assess the probability that resistance evolves against a driving Y that otherwise is strong enough to eliminate the target population. The model considers resistance due to changes at the target site such that they are no longer cleaved by the nuclease, and due to trans-acting autosomal suppressor alleles. ResultsThe probability that resistance evolves increases with the mutation rate and the intrinsic rate of increase of the population, and decreases with the strength of drive and any pleiotropic fitness costs of the resistant allele. In seasonally varying environments, the time of release can also affect the probability of resistance evolving. Trans-acting suppressor alleles are more likely to suffer stochastic loss at low frequencies than target site resistant alleles. ConclusionsAs with any other intervention, there is a risk that resistance will evolve to new genetic approaches to vector control, and steps should be taken to minimize this probability. Two design features that should help in this regard are to reduce the rate at which resistant mutations arise, and to target sequences such that if they do arise, they impose a significant fitness cost on the mosquito.

Journal article

Beaghton A, Beaghton PJ, Burt A, 2016, Gene drive through a landscape: Reaction–diffusion models of population suppression and elimination by a sex ratio distorter, Theoretical Population Biology, Vol: 108, Pages: 51-69, ISSN: 1096-0325

Some genes or gene complexes are transmitted from parents to offspring at a greater-than-Mendelian rate, and can spread and persist in populations even if they cause some harm to the individuals carrying them. Such genes may be useful for controlling populations or species that are harmful. Driving-Y chromosomes may be particularly potent in this regard, as they produce a male-biased sex ratio that, if sufficiently extreme, can lead to population elimination. To better understand the potential of such genes to spread over a landscape, we have developed a series of reaction–diffusion models of a driving-Y chromosome in 1-D and radially-symmetric 2-D unbounded domains. The wild-type system at carrying capacity is found to be unstable to the introduction of driving-Y males for all models investigated. Numerical solutions exhibit travelling wave pulses and fronts, and analytical and semi-analytical solutions for the asymptotic wave speed under bounded initial conditions are derived. The driving-Y male invades the wild-type equilibrium state at the front of the wave and completely replaces the wild-type males, leaving behind, at the tail of the wave, a reduced- or zero-population state of females and driving-Y males only. In our simplest model of a population with one life stage and density-dependent mortality, wave speed depends on the strength of drive and the diffusion rate of Y-drive males, and is independent of the population dynamic consequences (suppression or elimination). Incorporating an immobile juvenile stage of fixed duration into the model reduces wave speed approximately in proportion to the relative time spent as a juvenile. If females mate just once in their life, storing sperm for subsequent reproduction, then wave speed depends on the movement of mated females as well as Y-drive males, and may be faster or slower than in the multiple-mating model, depending on the relative duration of juvenile and adult life stages. Numerical solutions are shown

Journal article


Journal article

Beaghton PJ, 1988, Dendritic Growth in the Presence of Convection

The motion of the freezing front between a dendritic crystal and a supercooled liquid is studied using an interface evolution equation derived from a boundary integral transformation of the transient convective-diffusion equation. A new steady-state theory is introduced that incorporates the effects of convection in dendritic growth. It is shown that in the absence of capillary effects the shape of the crystal-melt interface is a paraboloid of revolution, similar to that found in situations where diffusion is the sole heat transfer mechanism. A relation between the supercooling, the product of the tip velocity and tip radius, and the strength of the flow is derived which reduces to the well-known Ivantsov theory in the absence of convection. A non-linear interface-tracking algorithm is developed and used to study the temporal and spatial evolution of the dendritic interface. The important role of capillarity and convection on the interface dynamics is established and the response of the interface to finite amplitude dis'turbances is examined for the first time. Tip splitting is identified as the dominant destabilization mechanism in the limit of zero surface tension. Finite surface tension leads to interface stabilization, irrespective of the magnitude and structure of the external perturbations. Finally, convection significantly decreases the magnitude of the freezing velocity.

Thesis dissertation

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