The Mathematical Biology group at the University of Birmingham. Back row (left to right): Paul Roberts, Dave Smith, Rosemary Dyson, Tom Montenegro-Johnson, George Youlden, Gemma Cupples, Will Thomson. Front row (left to right): Clare Ziegler, Sara Jabbari, Meurig Gallagher, James Tyrrell, 'The' Craig Holloway. Photo by Kris Kuzniar, May 2016.
The Mathematical Biology group at the University of Birmingham, when I joined back in May 2016. Photo by Kris Kuzniar, May 2016.

Postdoc: Panayiota Katsamba June 2018 —

Panayiota is an expert in microscale biomechanics, and is currently working on my EPSRC-funded Microtransformers project.

Postdoc: tbc October 2018 —

I will very shortly be advertising for a 2-year postdoc on modelling the human hand to start in October, check back soon for details.

PhD candidate: M. Clowe October 2018 —

Project title: Transport and mixing in biophysical flows

Summer project: If you wish to do a summer research project with me, let’s do it; fair warning, Josephine Solowiej-WedderburnDavid Baker and Lasse Schmieding have set the bar super high.

Birmingham MathBio

I am one of 6 permanent staff in the Mathematical Biology research group at the University of Birmingham. The others are Dr Rosemary Dyson, Dr Sara Jabbari, Dr Samuel JohnsonProf. David Smith, and Dr Fabian Spill, and between us we cover a wide range of interests. Our postdoctoral researchers are Dr Gemma CupplesDr Meurig Gallagher, Dr Panayiota Katsamba, and Dr Paul Roberts. In addition to group PhD projects, group opportunities will be posted on the University Jobs website (not direct from PIs). Furthermore, we are keen to support applications for externally-funded fellowships (EPSRC, Marie-Curie, Newton etc.) by highly-qualified candidates who would like to join us.


My research is highly interdisciplinary, and as such I collaborate with experimental fluid dynamicists, developmental biologists, and other theoreticians. In roughly chronological order here are my main collaborators, together with lists of coauthored publications:

  • Prof. John Blake John was my PhD supervisor, always gave excellent advice, and told funny stories – he is missed. We worked on symmetry-breaking and swimming in complex fluids. Publications.
  • Dr David Smith Dave was my PhD co-supervisor along with Prof. John Blake, and then my PostDoc supervisor for his 1 year EPSRC first grant – without him, I wouldn’t be doing this so I’m very grateful. So far we have worked on symmetry-breaking and microscale swimming problems. Publications.
  • Dr Daniel Loghin Daniel taught me to code finite elements for non-Newtonian fluids. So far, we’ve worked on microscale swimming in shear-thinning fluids. Publications.
  • Dr Eric Lauga Eric was the supervisor on my PostDoc in Cambridge (9 months), and then the mentor for the first 2 years of my 1851 project. Eric taught me a lot about research productivity. So far, we’ve worked on Stokes flow optimisation, microscale swimming, and autophoresis. Publications.
  • Dr Susana Lopes Specialist in cilia and the developmental biology of zebrafish. We work on symmetry-breaking problems. Publications.
  • Prof. George Bassel Specialist in plant development and cellular networks. We work on image analysis of 3D microscopy of plant organs. Publications.
  • Prof. Paulo Arratia Experimental fluid dynamicist specialising in undulatory propulsion. We work on flow field analysis of C. Elegans, a nematode worm. Publications.
  • Prof. Roberto Zenit Experimental fluid dynamicist and rheologist, doing cool work from microscale propulsion to the fluid dynamics of art. We have worked on artificial microscale propulsion together via Eric. Publications.
  • Dr Sébastien Michelin Theoretician studying the coupling of hydrodynamics with other fields of physics and mechanics, with applications on various problems including synthetic and biological locomotion, active fluids and flow energy harvesting. We work on autophoresis problems together. Publications.
  • Dr Lyndon Koens Theoretician specialising in Slender Ribbon Theory. Publications.
  • Mr David Gagnon Experimental fluid dynamicist in Paulo’s group, with whom I’ve been studying the swimming of nematode worms. Publications.