The Professoriate

Distinguished Professor Peter Schwerdtfeger FRSNZ
Head of Institute
Research Interests:
Theoretical Chemistry and Physics
Aspects of quantum chemistry and physics focused toward fundamental issues. Current research areas include: parity-violation in chiral molecules, relativistic effects, the chemistry of heavy and superheavy elements, simulation of metallic clusters, quantum-electrodynamic effects in atoms and molecules, solid state chemistry and physics including high-pressure materials, surface science, chemical evolution theory and the mathematical and philosophical aspects of quantum theory.
Professor Joachim Brand
Deputy Head of Institute
Research Interests:
Theoretical Physics
Quantum physics of many particle systems. Condensed matter theory of quantum gases and liquids. Nonlinear waves, solitons and vortices in superfluids. Strongly correlated quantum matter. Quantum dynamics of few-particle systems. Entanglement and macroscopic quantum superpositions. Our research focusses mainly on the theoretical understanding of atomic and molecular gases at ultra-cold temperatures, where quantum mechanics dominates. Studies of quantum effects in these system enhance our basic understanding of quantum mechanics and aid the design of novel devices for quantum technologies.
Professor Marti Anderson FRSNZ
Research Interests:
Statistics for Ecology
My primary interest is in the analysis of multi-species datasets, to quantify and model natural spatial and temporal variation, including beta-diversity, at multiple scales and/or in response to environmental variables or human-induced factors or experiments. Areas of particular expertise include: multivariate analysis; computer-intensive techniques; experimental design; ecological statistics; community ecology; biodiversity; resemblance (similarity and dissimilarity) measures, environmental monitoring and impact assessment; marine science; modeling species' distributions and count data; semi- and non-parametric methods.
Professor Sergej Flach
Director of Korean Institute for Basic Sciences, Physics of Complex Systems
Research Interests:
Theoretical Physics and Complex Systems
Theoretical Physics and Complex Systems. Nonlinear waves in complex systems, classical and quantum, with and without dissipation; in particular wave localization, delocalization, transport and applications in condensed matter, nonlinear optics, micromechanics, and nanoscience. The study of out-of-equilibrium systems with applications in cold atom physics; in particular ratcheting particles and waves. Fano resonances in the transport through nanoscale structures. Cryptography with nonlinear waves and chaos; in particular encryption of passwords and pCAPTCHAs.
Visiting Professor Victor Flambaum FAA
Research interests:
Challenging problems in atomic, nuclear, elementary particle, solid state physics and astrophysics, in particular violation of the fundamental symmetries (parity, time invariance), test of the theories of Grand Unification of elementary particles and their interactions, search for spatial and temporal variation of the fundamental constants in the Universe from the Big Bang to the present time (such variation is predicted by theories unifying gravity with other interactions), many-body theory and high-precision atomic calculations, quantum chaos and statistical theory, high-temperature superconductivity and conductance quantisation.
Professor Nigel French FRSNZ
Research Interests:
Molecular epidemiology.
Combining molecular biology and epidemiology to understand the transmission of infectious agents between animals and man. Interest in the use of phylogenetic and genealogical (coalescent-based) tools, infectious disease modelling and spatial modelling, to understand the origin, evolution and emergence of zoonotic pathogens. Both laboratory-based and theoretical tools have been applied to determine the relative contribution of different animal reservoirs to the burden of human enteric disease, and have informed national control strategies. Also long-term interest in the epidemiology of both infectious and non-infectious diseases that have a severe impact on animal welfare.
Distinguished Professor Gaven Martin FRSNZ, FAMS, FNZMS, FASL
Research Interests:
Non-linear analysis, elliptic partial differential equations, Beltrami systems and geometric function theory, particularly as it interacts with conformal geometry, quasiconformal mappings and their generalisations. Applications in non-linear elasticity and materials science. Also low dimensional topology and geometry, particularly hyperbolic geometry, discrete groups and their associated universal constants, such as minimal co-volume, and relations between arithmetic and geometry.
Professor Thomas Pfeiffer
Research Interests:
Computational Biology
Computational Biology, particularly metabolic systems and their evolution, game theory, and evidence synthesis. These include the development of computer simulations to study how different evolutionary histories shape properties of metabolic networks; the properties of fitness landscapes associated with metabolic systems and how they predict metabolic flux distributions. Applications of game theory to reciprocal strategies with minimal cognitive requirements, and predictions for in-group bias and for indirect reciprocity in real-world and laboratory settings.
Distinguished Professor Paul Rainey FRSNZ
Research Interests:
Ecology and Evolution
Evolutionary processes particularly, but not exclusively, evolution by natural selection. Our research is both theoretical and empirical and makes use of microbial populations in order to observe and dissect evolution in real time. A growing fascination is the evolutionary origins of multicellularity. Other interests include the ecological significance of diversity in natural microbial populations; evolutionary processes determining patterns of diversity in space and time; and the genetics and fitness consequences of traits that enhance ecological performance in populations of plant-colonizing bacteria.
Professor Mick Roberts FIMA, FNZMS, FRSNZ
Research Interests:
Mathematical Biology.
The development of mathematical models that explain why pathogens have evolved their present characteristics, in particular models for the evolution and transmission of a virus. Model for the dynamics of the HIV virus, and the interaction between within-host virus evolution and between-host virus transmission. The analysis of models for invading infections, and models for control strategies to contain exotic infections. Threshold quantities and control strategies for endemic infections.