A Stockbridge mathematician has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours List for her work in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr Phillippa Spencer was awarded an OBE in the list, published on December 30, with his honour being given “for services to defence, particularly during the Covid-19 response.”

The award recognises not just her work to provide data to government during the pandemic, but also in other health emergencies, including the Novichok poisonings in Salisbury and the Ebola crisis.

She said: “I am genuinely overwhelmed by the honour. The award recognises not only me, but an incredible team of people who provide vital support to so many collective efforts. I am beyond happy to have been nominated.”

The OBE, or Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, is awarded by the monarch on behalf of the government to recognise those who have made major contributions at a local level, or whose work has gained a national profile.

Phillippa is the senior principal statistician at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), based at Porton Down in Wiltshire.

She had previously modelled the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014 to help protect healthcare workers in the area, and has since applied those skills to other situations.

She was one of a number of employees of the government research body to be recognised in the New Year’s Honours list, alongside Dr Joanne Thwaite and Lt Col Gareth Walker.

Dstl’s Chief Executive Gary Aitkenhead, said: “I offer my sincere congratulations to all those awarded. It gives me great pride to see our people recognised in this prestigious way. The awards are deserved recognition of dedication, professionalism and technical excellence.”