Professor Adelle Coster
Head of School

Professor Adelle Coster

  • PhD, 1998 University of New South Wales
  • BSc, First Class Honours, University Medal, 1991 University of New South Wales
School of Mathematics & Statistics

I am an applied mathematician.  I use dynamical systems analyses, stochastic modelling and queueing theory, amongst other techniques to answer questions arising from fields other than mathematics.  My research is in mathematical modelling, particularly in biomedicine and biology. The investigations in which I am currently involved range from understanding the dynamics of fundamental protein-protein interactions, cellular processes, the geometrical morphological features of microfossils, to the interactions in systems at larger scales involving human subjects. Projects include the modelling of

  • cellular glucose transport in response to insulin and the deleterious effects insulin resistance and diabetes;
  • the dynamics of electrically excitable cells such as peripheral nerves and the cardiac pacemaker; and
  • starch grains within edible plants, allowing the identification of both contemporary grains and those found on ancient tools

Professional affiliations and service positions

School of Mathematics and Statistics University of New South Wales Sydney NSW 2052 The Red Centre
  • Book Chapters | 2020
    2020, 'Models of Membrane-Mediated Processes: Cascades and Cycles in Insulin Action', in Systems Medicine: Integrative, Qualitative and Computational Approaches: Volume 1-3, Elsevier, pp. 143 - 155,
    Book Chapters | 2018
    2018, 'The Shape of Things to Come—Using Geometric and Morphometric Analyses to Identify Archaeological Starch Grains', in Agriculture as a Metaphor for Creativity in All Human Endeavors, Springer Singapore, pp. 1 - 6,
    Book Chapters | 2008
    2008, 'High-throughput analysis of the dynamics of recycling cell surface proteins', in Ivanov AI (ed.), Exocytosis and Endocytosis, Humana Press, NJ USA, pp. 129 - 146,
    Book Chapters | 1995
    Coster A, 1995, 'Neural Thermodynamics for Biological Ensembles', in Cho S; Oh J-H; Kwon C (ed.), Neural Networks: The Statistical Mechanics Perspective, edn. Progress in Neural Processing, World Scientific Publishing Company Incorporated
  • Journal articles | 2023
    2023, 'Oncolytic virus treatment of human breast cancer cells: Modelling therapy efficacy', Journal of Theoretical Biology, 560, pp. 111394,
    Journal articles | 2022
    2022, '65,000-years of continuous grinding stone use at Madjedbebe, Northern Australia', Scientific Reports, 12, pp. 11747,
    Journal articles | 2022
    2022, 'Metabolomics and Lipidomics Signatures of Insulin Resistance and Abdominal Fat Depots in People Living with Obesity', Metabolites, 12,
    Journal articles | 2021
    2021, 'Holocene grinding stones at Madjedbebe reveal the processing of starchy plant taxa and animal tissue', Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 35,
    Journal articles | 2020
    2020, 'Emergence of a Neolithic in highland New Guinea by 5000 to 4000 years ago', Science Advances, 6,
    Journal articles | 2020
    2020, 'Enhancing oncolytic virotherapy: Observations from a Voronoi Cell-Based model', Journal of Theoretical Biology, 485, pp. 110052 - 110052,
    Journal articles | 2020
    2020, 'From insulin to Akt: Time delays and dominant processes', Journal of Theoretical Biology, 507,
    Journal articles | 2020
    2020, 'Functional studies of flaked and ground stone artefacts reveal starchy tree nut and root exploitation in mid-Holocene highland New Guinea', Holocene, 30, pp. 1360 - 1374,
    Journal articles | 2020
    2020, 'Irradiation impairs mitochondrial function and skeletal muscle oxidative capacity: significance for metabolic complications in cancer survivors', Metabolism: clinical and experimental, 103, pp. 154025,
    Journal articles | 2020
    2020, 'Obesity and Insulin Resistance Are Inversely Associated with Serum and Adipose Tissue Carotenoid Concentrations in Adults', Journal of Nutrition, 150, pp. 38 - 46,
    Journal articles | 2020
    2020, 'Tropical Foodways and Exchange along the Coastal Margin of Northeastern New Guinea', Journal of Field Archaeology, pp. 498 - 511,
    Journal articles | 2019
    Gray CW; Coster AC F, 2019, 'Crosstalk in transition: the translocation of Akt', Journal of Mathematical Biology, 78, pp. 919 - 942,
    Journal articles | 2019
    2019, 'Ancient starch analysis of grinding stones from Kokatha Country, South Australia', Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 23, pp. 178 - 188,
    Journal articles | 2019
    2019, 'Longitudinal changes in insulin resistance in normal weight, overweight and obese individuals', Journal of Clinical Medicine, 8,
    Journal articles | 2018
    Jenner A; Yun CO; Yoon A; Kim PS; Coster AC F, 2018, 'Modelling heterogeneity in viral-tumour dynamics: The effects of gene-attenuation on viral characteristics', Journal of Theoretical Biology, 454, pp. 41 - 52,
    Journal articles | 2018
    Jenner AL; Yun CO; Kim PS; Coster AC F, 2018, 'Mathematical Modelling of the Interaction Between Cancer Cells and an Oncolytic Virus: Insights into the Effects of Treatment Protocols', Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, 80, pp. 1615 - 1629,
    Journal articles | 2018
    Lape P; Peterson E; Tanudirjo D; Shiung CC; Lee GA; Field J; Coster A, 2018, 'New data from an open Neolithic site in Eastern Indonesia', Asian Perspectives, 57, pp. 222 - 243,
    Journal articles | 2018
    2018, 'Interactions of tropomyosin Tpm1.1 on a single actin filament: A method for extraction and processing of high resolution TIRF microscopy data', PLoS ONE, 13, pp. e0208586,
    Journal articles | 2018
    2018, 'Modelling Combined Virotherapy and Immunotherapy: Strengthening the Antitumour Immune Response Mediated by IL-12 and GM-CSF Expression', Letters in Biomathematics, 5,
    Journal articles | 2018
    2018, 'Modelling combined virotherapy and immunotherapy: strengthening the antitumour immune response mediated by IL-12 and GM-CSF expression', Letters in Biomathematics, 5, pp. S99 - S116,
    Journal articles | 2018
    2018, 'Treating Cancerous Cells with Viruses: Insights from Aminimal Model for Oncolytic Virotherapy', Letters in Biomathematics, 5,
    Journal articles | 2018
    2018, 'Treating cancerous cells with viruses: insights from a minimal model for oncolytic virotherapy', Letters in Biomathematics, 5, pp. S117 - S136,
    Journal articles | 2017
    Montgomery MK; Brown SH J; Mitchell TW; Coster AC F; Cooney GJ; Turner N, 2017, 'Association of muscle lipidomic profile with high-fat diet-induced insulin resistance across five mouse strains', Scientific Reports, 7,
    Journal articles | 2016
    Al-Zyoud WA; Hynson RM G; Ganuelas LA; Coster AC F; Duff AP; Baker MA B; Stewart AG; Giannoulatou E; Ho JW K; Gaus K; Liu D; Lee LK; Böcking T, 2016, 'Binding of transcription factor GabR to DNA requires recognition of DNA shape at a location distinct from its cognate binding site', Nucleic Acids Research, 44, pp. 1411 - 1420,
    Journal articles | 2016
    Brewer PD; Habtemichael EN; Romenskaia I; Coster AC F; Mastick CC, 2016, 'Rab14 limits the sorting of Glut4 from endosomes into insulin-sensitive regulated secretory compartments in adipocytes', Biochemical Journal, 473, pp. 1315 - 1327,
    Journal articles | 2016
    Brewer PD; Habtemichael EN; Romenskaia I; Mastick CC; Coster AC F, 2016, 'Glut4 is sorted from a Rab10 GTPase-independent constitutive recycling pathway into a highly insulinresponsive Rab10 GTPase-dependent sequestration pathway after adipocyte differentiation', Journal of Biological Chemistry, 291, pp. 773 - 789,
    Journal articles | 2016
    Field JH; Kealhofer L; Cosgrove R; Coster AC F, 2016, 'Human-environment dynamics during the Holocene in the Australian Wet Tropics of NE Queensland: A starch and phytolith study', Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 44, pp. 216 - 234,
    Journal articles | 2016
    Gray CW; Coster AC F, 2016, 'The Akt switch model: Is location sufficient?', Journal of Theoretical Biology, 398, pp. 103 - 111,
    Journal articles | 2016
    Janco M; Bonello TT; Byun A; Coster AC F; Lebhar H; Dedova I; Gunning PW; Böcking T, 2016, 'The impact of tropomyosins on actin filament assembly is isoform specific', BioArchitecture, 6, pp. 61 - 75,
    Journal articles | 2016
    Minard AY; Wong MK L; Chaudhuri R; Tan SX; Humphrey SJ; Parker BL; Yang JY; Laybutt DR; Cooney GJ; Coster AC F; Stöckli J; James DE, 2016, 'Hyperactivation of the insulin signaling pathway improves intracellular proteostasis by coordinately up-regulating the proteostatic machinery in adipocytes', Journal of Biological Chemistry, 291, pp. 25629 - 25640,
    Journal articles | 2016
    Montgomery MK; Brown SH J; Lim XY; Fiveash CE; Osborne B; Bentley NL; Braude JP; Mitchell TW; Coster AC F; Don AS; Cooney GJ; Schmitz-Peiffer C; Turner N, 2016, 'Regulation of glucose homeostasis and insulin action by ceramide acyl-chain length: A beneficial role for very long-chain sphingolipid species', Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids, 1861, pp. 1828 - 1839,
    Journal articles | 2016
    Nicovich PR; Janco M; Sobey T; Gajwani M; Obeidy P; Whan R; Gaus K; Gunning PW; Coster AC F; Böcking T, 2016, 'Effect of surface chemistry on tropomyosin binding to actin filaments on surfaces', Cytoskeleton, 73, pp. 729 - 738,
    Journal articles | 2016
    Tonks KT; Coster AC; Christopher MJ; Chaudhuri R; Xu A; Gagnon-Bartsch J; Chisholm DJ; James DE; Meikle PJ; Greenfield JR; Samocha-Bonet D, 2016, 'Skeletal muscle and plasma lipidomic signatures of insulin resistance and overweight/obesity in humans', Obesity, 24, pp. 908 - 916,
    Journal articles | 2015
    Tan SX; Fisher-Wellman KH; Fazakerley DJ; Ng Y; Pant H; Li J; Meoli CC; Coster AC F; Stöckli J; James DE, 2015, 'Selective insulin resistance in adipocytes', Journal of Biological Chemistry, 290, pp. 11337 - 11348,
    Journal articles | 2015
    2015, 'A receptor state space model of insulin signalling system in glucose transport', Mathematical Medicine and Biology, First published online: February 10, 2015, pp. 1 - 17,
    Journal articles | 2015
    2015, 'Dietary acid load, metabolic acidosis and insulin resistance - Lessons from cross-sectional and overfeeding studies in humans', Clinical Nutrition, 35, pp. 1084 - 1090,
    Journal articles | 2015
    2015, 'What starch grain is that? - A geometric morphometric approach to determining plant species origin', Journal of Archaeological Science, 58, pp. 9 - 25,
    Journal articles | 2014
    Brewer PD; Habtemichael EN; Romenskaia I; Mastick CC; Coster AC F, 2014, 'Insulin-regulated Glut4 translocation: Membrane protein trafficking with six distinctive steps', Journal of Biological Chemistry, 289, pp. 17280 - 17298,
    Journal articles | 2014
    Polwiang S; Coster A, 2014, 'Coupling and synchronization of oscillators in the sinoatrial node', Experimental and Clinical Cardiology, 20, pp. 1788 - 1797
    Journal articles | 2014
    Samocha-Bonet D; Chisholm DJ; Gribble FM; Coster AC F; Carpenter KH; Jones GR D; Holst JJ; Greenfield JR, 2014, 'Glycemic effects and safety of L-glutamine supplementation with or without sitagliptin in type 2 diabetes patients-a randomized study', PLoS ONE, 9,
    Journal articles | 2013
    Heilbronn LK; Coster AC F; Campbell LV; Greenfield JR; Lange K; Christopher MJ; Meikle PJ; Samocha-Bonet D, 2013, 'The effect of short-term overfeeding on serum lipids in healthy humans', Obesity, 21,
    Journal articles | 2013
    2013, 'Impaired Akt phosphorylation in insulin-resistant human muscle is accompanied by selective and heterogeneous downstream defects', Diabetologia, 56, pp. 875 - 885,
    Journal articles | 2011
    Tonks KT; Ng Y; Miller S; Coster AC F; Samocha-Bonet D; Iseli TJ; Xu A; Stöckli J; Chisholm DJ; James DE; Greenfield JR, 2011, 'Obese, yet insulin sensitive humans', Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, 5, pp. 13 - 13,
    Journal articles | 2010
    2010, 'Cluster analysis of insulin action adipocytes reveals a key role for Akt at the plasma membrane', The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 285, pp. 2245 - 2257,
    Journal articles | 2010
    2010, 'Kinetic evidence for unique regulation of GLUT4 trafficking by insulin and AMPK activators in L6 myotubes', The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 285, pp. 1653 - 1660,
    Journal articles | 2010
    2010, 'Muscling in on GLUT4 kinetics', Communicative & Integrative Biology, 3, pp. 260 - 262,
    Journal articles | 2009
    Mele K; Burchfield JG; Lopez J; James DE; Hughes WE; Coster A; Vallotton P, 2009, 'TIRF microscopy software for automated vesicle fusion detection', American Biotechnology Laboratory, 27, pp. 8 - 9
    Journal articles | 2009
    2009, 'Ionic double layer of atomically flat gold formed on mica templates', Electrochimica ACTA, 54, pp. 3766 - 3774,
    Journal articles | 2006
    2006, 'Noise accelerates synchronization of coupled nonlinear oscillators', Physical Review E, 74, pp. 041128,
    Journal articles | 2004
    2004, 'A pilot study of long-term monitoring of human movements in the home using accelerometry', Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 10, pp. 144 - 151,
    Journal articles | 2004
    2004, 'Accelerometry: providing an integrated, practical method for long-term, ambulatory monitoring of human movement', Physiological Measurement, 25, pp. 1 - 20,
    Journal articles | 2004
    2004, 'Classification of basic daily movements using a triaxial accelerometer', Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing, 42, pp. 679 - 687,
    Journal articles | 2004
    2004, 'Insulin increases cell surface GLUT4 levels by dose dependently discharging GLUT4 into a cell surface recycling pathway', Molecular and Cellular Biology, 24, pp. 6456 - 6466,
    Journal articles | 2004
    2004, 'Insulin stimulates the entry of GLUT4 into the endosomal recycling pathway by a quantal mechanism', Traffic (Malden), 5, pp. 763 - 771,
    Journal articles | 2003
    Coster AC F; Celler BG, 2003, 'Phase response of model sinoatrial node cells', Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 31, pp. 271 - 283,
    Journal articles | 2003
    2003, 'Detection of daily physical activities using a triaxial accelerometer', Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing, 41, pp. 296 - 301,
    Journal articles | 2001
    2001, 'Expectation and conditioning', Physica A - Statistical Mechanics and Its Applications, 290, pp. 251 - 267,
    Journal articles | 1996
    Coster AC F, 1996, 'On the ensemble properties of interacting neurons', PROGRESS IN BIOPHYSICS & MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, 65, pp. PG307 - PG307,
    Journal articles | 1996
    1996, 'Impedance spectroscopy of interfaces, membranes and ultrastructures', Bioelectrochemistry and Bioenergetics, 40, pp. 79 - 98,
  • Preprints | 2021
    2021, Tropomyosin isoforms segregate into distinct clusters on single actin filaments, ,
    Preprints | 2019
    2019, Mathematical modelling of the interaction between cancer cells and an oncolytic virus: insights into the effects of treatment protocols, ,
    Conference Abstracts | 2015
    2015, 'Actin Tropomyosin Assembly Intermediates', in BIOPHYSICAL JOURNAL., CELL PRESS, Vol. 108, pp. 298A - 298A, presented at AACR Special Conference on Advances in Pediatric Cancer Research,
    Conference Papers | 2014
    Brewer PD; Habtemichael EN; Romenskaia I; Coster A; Mastick C, 2014, 'Mapping Sites of Insulin Regulation in Glut4 Trafficking: Insulin Regulates Fusion, Sequestration into and Release from GSVs', in DIABETES, AMER DIABETES ASSOC, pp. A653 - A653,
    Conference Papers | 2013
    Brewer PD; Romenskaia I; Habtemichael EN; Coster A; Mastick CC, 2013, 'Identification of Regulatory Nodes in Glut4 Trafficking', in DIABETES, AMER DIABETES ASSOC, pp. A465 - A465,
    Conference Papers | 2011
    2011, 'The effect of gap junction conductance on synchronisation of sinoatrial node central cells', in AIP Conference Proceedings, volume 1371, American Institute of Physics, Toyama City, Japan, pp. 146 - 155, presented at 2011 International Symposium on Computational Models for Life Sciences, CMLS-11, Toyama City, Japan, 11 October 2011 - 13 October 2011,
    Conference Papers | 2010
    2010, 'The Synchronization of Sinoatrial Node Cells: The Transition from Centre to Periphery', in Proceedings of the IASTED International Conference on Computational Bioscience, CompBio 2010, ACTA Press, Calgary, AB, Canada, pp. 581 - 586, presented at IASTED International Conference on Computational Bioscience, CompBio 2010, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 01 November 2010 - 03 November 2010,
    Conference Papers | 2009
    2009, 'Automatic identification of fusion events in TIRF microscopy image sequences', in IEEE (ed.), IEEE 12th International Conference on Computer Vision Workshops, ICCV Workshops 2009, IEEE, Kyoto, pp. 578 - 584, presented at IEEE 12th International Conference on Computer Vision Workshops, Kyoto, 27 September 2009 - 04 October 2009,
    Conference Papers | 2005
    Chik D; Coster A, 2005, 'Modelling cardiac dynamics with integral pulse frequency modulated units', in Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology - Proceedings, pp. 933 - 935,
    Conference Papers | 2003
    Mathie MJ; Coster AC; Lovell NH; Celler BG, 2003, 'Use of a Triaxial Accelerometer in Unsupervised Monitoring of Human Movement', in Proceedings of the World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering 2003, Sydney, Convention and Exhibition Centre, Sydney, Australia, presented at World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering 2003, Sydney, Convention and Exhibition Centre, Sydney, Australia, 24 August 2003 - 29 August 2003
    Conference Papers | 2003
    2003, 'Design of a Study for Unsupervised Monitoring using a Triaxial Accelerometer', in Proceedings of the World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering 2003, Sydney, Convention and Exhibition Centre, Sydney, Australia, presented at World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering 2003, Sydney, Convention and Exhibition Centre, Sydney, Australia, 24 August 2003 - 29 August 2003
    Conference Papers | 2002
    2002, 'Determining activity using a triaxial accelerometer', in EMBS-BMES 2002 Joint Conference, Houston, Texas, pp. 2481 - 2482, presented at EMBS-BMES 2002 Joint Conference, Houston, Texas, 23 October 2002 - 26 October 2002
    Conference Papers | 2001
    2001, 'Phase Response of Model Sinoatrial Node Cells - an Investigation of the Influence of Stimulus Parameters', in EMBC2001 23rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, Istanbul, Turkey, pp. 40 - 43, presented at EMBC2001 23rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, Istanbul, Turkey, 25 October 2001 - 28 October 2001
    Conference Papers | 2001
    2001, 'The Memory Effect and Phase Response of Model Sinoatrial Node Cells', in EMBC2001 23rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, Istanbul, Turkey, pp. 36 - 39, presented at EMBC2001 23rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, Istanbul, Turkey, 25 October 2001 - 28 October 2001
    Theses / Dissertations | 1998
    Coster AC, 1998, Neural ensembles: A statistical mechanical exploration

Recent Research Grants

  • ARC Discovery Project 2021-2023, The mathematics of stochastic transport and signalling in cells
  • ARC Discovery Project 2018-2020, Dynamical systems theory and mathematical modelling of viral infections, with Peter Kim, Federico Frascoli and Chae-Ok Yun.
  • ARC Discovery Project 2013-2015, Resolving the mechanisms of actin filament specialisation through single molecule analysis and modelling, with Till Böcking.

Research Goals

To use mathematics to go where other disciplines cannot go alone. To develop novel and quantitative insight into interesting biological problems.

Research in Detail

Interdisciplinary research flourishes with the interaction of different discipline experts.  Some of the projects and the collaborators with whom I'm involved are outlined below.

The mathematics of stochastic transport and signalling in cells

There are opportunities for students and researchers to be involved in an ARC-funded Discovery Project titled "The mathematics of stochastic transport and signalling in cells". The aim of the project is to develop new stochastic mathematical models of the dynamics of protein transport and cell signalling.  This work is in collaboration with Maria Vlasiou and Marko Boon of the Technical University of Eindhoven, The Netherlands, and links with the experimental research on insulin signalling and glucose transport, below.

The mathematics will link macro scale biological observations to micro scale molecular movements to characterise the relative role that different components and processes play. Expected outcomes are robust mathematical analyses of the transient dynamics of closed, finite capacity queueing networks and biological insight into the major control mechanisms in cellular insulin signalling. A major objective is the development of methods to quantitatively compare the time courses of stochastic measurements with the outputs of stochastic mathematical models, with a view to driving parameter inference and model selection in these systems.

Please get in contact if you are interested.

Insulin Signalling, Glucose Transport and Metabolic Health

My research in this area is in collaboration with experimentalists such as Cynthia Mastick of the University of Nevada, Reno, USA, David James at the University of Sydney and Dorit Samocha-Bonet at the Garvan Institute for Medical Research, Sydney. The work focuses on creation of mathematical models that robustly and quantitatively describe the movement of glucose transporters within cells, and how this is regulated and controlled by the insulin signalling network. The quantitative understanding of this dynamic system under normal conditions is essential to the future understanding of the mechanisms underlying insulin resistance and its subsequent progression to Type 2 diabetes. One of the key outcomes will be the ability to quantitatively analyse the impact of differentially regulating the activity of components of the insulin signalling network, and, in the future, be a step in the process of drug design.

An important aspect of this is the integration of the information from various sources including cellular assays, western blot and mass spectrometry techniques as well as single cell experiments using total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy. In order to understand complex images seen in the latter, mathematical models of vesicular events as seen by TIRF were derived as part of the development of automated image analysis and event detection software. This enables the processing of large amounts of biological information which would otherwise be untenable. It also means that the results gathered are robust.

At a higher level, I employ bioinformatic techniques to correlate and understand the large lipidomic and proteomic data sets gathered from studies into the insulin response in human plasma and muscle.

Excitable Cells

The ionic currents underlying the electrical behaviour of neurons and pacemaker cells in the heart may be described using coupled nonlinear differential equations. These have been derived in a number of different models from a wide range of electrophysiological data in the literature.

In the cardiac system the dynamics of both single cells and coupled networks of cells is being explored, and the robustness of the models to changes in parameters ascertained. Different models for the sinoatrial node cells are assessed both analytically and computationally, correlating the different responses with the ionic currents, with a view to further optimising the system.

Explorations are being made of mathematical models of the human motor axon that utilise coupled differential equations to describe the electrical activity within the nerve. These models are being used to interpret the measured responses to extended hyperpolarization and the contribution of different ion currents to the transmission of signals. The responses of sensory neurons to strong long-lasting hyperpolarization are being assessed and contrasted with motor neurons. Extensions to the models are being made to incorporate additional inhomogeneities within the neuron structure. This project is in collaboration with James Howells at the University of Sydney.

Protein-protein interactions: Modelling the interplay between tropomyosin and actin

A combination of, both continuous dynamical systems and discrete mathematical modelling and single molecule fluorescence microscopy is being used to probe the dynamic interactions of two proteins, actin and tropomyosin. With experimental partners including Till Böcking in the Faculty of Medicine the aim is to resolve how filaments of these proteins are assembled. This is important because these proteins form the cytoskeleton (the internal scaffolding) of cells. Understanding of their interactions can then be used in the future to understand how drugs can target specific components and functions of the cytoskeleton that are hijacked in cancer cells. This project focuses on the formulation of a quantitative dynamical description of the processes taking place, using experimental information to estimate meaningful and quantitative parameters to robustly test and adapt the models of the dynamical systems, enabling the differentiation between different hypotheses of mechanism and function in this interaction. Analysis of microscopy image sequences and deconstruction into a basis set for the laments are being used to estimate the rate constants of the processes. Computational work for image processing as well as analysis is being undertaken alongside dynamical systems modelling.

Identification and Classification of Starch Grains

Moving away from dynamical systems, another interesting problem that benefits from a mathematical approach arises in the identification of the food sources ground on ancient stone tools.  This involves the analysis of starch grains in the residue found on the tools.  I have developed mathematical methods and software based on Fourier decomposition and shape analysis to quantify the geometric morphometric features of the starch grains from microscopy images.  Machine learning algorithms are then developed to classify and characterise the grains, comparing the unknown archeological samples to that from reference material from plants in the region. This work is in collaboration with Judith Field of the School of Biology, Earth and Environmental Sciences.

My Teaching

I am currently involved in subjects such as

MATH1131 Mathematics 1A

MATH3041 Mathematical Modelling for Real World Systems

MATH3201 Dynamical Systems and Chaos

MATH6781 Biomathematics

MATH3121 Mathematical Methods and Partial Differential Equations