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Systems and mathematical biology

We use mathematical and computational modelling to understand drivers of systems at different scales, from gene expression within individual cells to the spread of plant pathogens around the globe.

Headline research projects for this theme:

Generating spatio-temporal Genome Wide Regulatory Networks to identify key components of Carbon Concentrating mechanism in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Lead: Gita Yadav.

Using Ug99 wheat stem rust as a case study showing where and how computationally-intensive atmospheric dispersion models can predict plant pathogen spread at continental scales. Lead: Chris Gilligan.

A new algorithm determines precisely when and how to manage disease, balancing the cost of waiting against losses, enabling better targeting of control measures. Lead: Nik Cunniffe

Associated research groups:

Contributing research groups from associated institutions:

Some projects will be specifically targeted towards defined UKRI Research Council DTP schemes, as well as being open for applicants applying to the University's Postgraduate Funding Competition or other sources of funding.

Potential applicants should always approach the potential Supervisor/Group Leader in the first instance to discuss eligibility.

Key to funding opportunities below:

  • GFC = Postgraduate Funding Competition,
  • NERC = Cambridge NERC C-CLEAR DTP,
  • OTHER = Other sources of funding


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The Department has carried out a comprehensive COVID-19 risk assessment process and has opened to allow research work to take place. To ensure the safety of our staff, a range of measures to reduce building occupancy and allow strict social distancing have been introduced, including increased cleaning and hygiene regimes. We are currently not accepting visitors so please continue to contact us by email until further notice.