Probability meets biology

A workshop at the interface between probability theory and biology, where participants work in groups to formulate and solve problems.

  • 29 Apr 2019, 12.30pm to 3 May 2019, 12.30pm BST (GMT +01:00)
  • The Edge, University of Bath
  • This event is free

This is a collaborative incubator, part of the project Reimagining Recruitment.

At the start of the week there will be talks which will outline questions at the interface between probability and biology. Participants will then work together in groups to develop the questions into well-defined problems and outline potential methods for solving them.

The workshop will be held upstairs in the Edge, near the main bus stop on campus.


Monday 29th April
12:30-13:30 Registration, lunch
13:30-14:00 Welcome
14:00-14:50 George Constable
14:50-15:15 Adele Murrell
15:15-15:35 Coffee
15:35-16:20 Matt Roberts
16:20-17:00 Group discussion, questions

Tuesday 30th April
09:45-10:45 Ramon Grima
10:45-11:05 Coffee
11:05-11:45 Tiffany Taylor
11:45-12:20 Paul Milewski
12:20-12:55 Nick Priest
12:55-14:00 Lunch
14:00-15:15 Group discussion, questions
15:15-15:35 Coffee
15:35-17:00 Group formation
19:00 Workshop dinner, Aqua restaurant (in town centre)

Wednesday 1st May
09:45-10:30 Cornelia Pokalyuk
10:30-12:45 Collaborative group work (including coffee at 10:45)
12:45-13:45 Lunch
13:45-17:00 Collaborative group work (including coffee at 15:15)

Thursday 2nd May
09:45-10:15 Brief updates on progress (optional)
10:15-12:45 Collaborative group work (including coffee at 10:45)
12:45-13:45 Lunch
13:45-17:00 Collaborative group work (including coffee at 15:15)
18:30 Pizza night at the Lime Tree (on campus)

Friday 3rd May
09:45-10:45 Progress report preparation in groups
10:45-11:15 Coffee
11:15-12:15 Progress reports, next steps
12:15-12:45 Group wrap-ups
12:45-13:45 Lunch


George Constable is a a statistical physicist turned mathematical ecologist working as a Leverhulme Fellow at the University of Bath. He studies the effect of demographic noise in eco-evolutionary systems.

Ramon Grima is a Reader at the University of Edinburgh, whose research is focused on the development of analytical methods to investigate the influence of noise in non-spatial and spatial problems in biology.

Adele Murrell is a Professor at the University of Bath who previously worked for Cancer Research UK. She is interested in how epigenetic modifications to DNA affect cancer cell survival.

Cornelia Pokalyuk, from the University of Frankfurt, works on population dynamics and host-parasite models.

Nick Priest works on how disease constrains the evolutionary process, and applying the lessons to help people, especially with respect to fertility, alternative medicine and Chagas Disease. He is a lecturer at the University of Bath.

Matt Roberts is a Royal Society University Research Fellow at the University of Bath. Much of his research is based around branching processes, with applications to many random models including biological systems.

Dario Spano is an Associate Professor at the University of Warwick. He is interested in combinatorial stochastic processes, measure-valued processes and special functions arising in exchangeable and partially exchangeable models, with applications in Mathematical Population Genetics and Bayesian Nonparametric Statistics.

Tiffany Taylor is a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellow at the University of Bath. She is an experimental evolutionary biologist who works primarily with microbes to understand how novelty and complexity arise during evolution. She is also the author of two children's books on evolution.

Who should attend

Academics at all career stages, who either work in probability theory and are interested in biological applications, or have interests in biological models that could have stochastic elements.


The Edge University of Bath Claverton Down Bath BA2 7AY United Kingdom


If you have any questions, please contact us.