Plenary speakers Mathematical Biology

​Two mini-courses will be held during the meeting, no extra registration is needed. The format is 2 x 50 minutes and the topics are:

The role of trade-offs in the evolution of diversity
Lecturer: Professor Ivana Gudelj, University of Exeter (

Organisms cannot excel at all things but are obliged to be jack-of-all trades. This constraint is central to the concept of trade-offs. A bacteria, for example, cannot both grow extremely fast and be resilient to harmful substances; if it invests more into one it must invest less into the other. A seminal theoretical solution first formalized by Levins almost 50 years ago showed that, in theory, the geometry of a trade-off should determine how the species will respond over time to selection. A plethora of subsequent theories would be nullified were it be proven that Levins’ seminal postulate were not true. Unfortunately, because of the technical difficulty in doing the necessary tests this theory has gone untested. Using a combination of synthetic ecology and mathematical modelling we provide the first verification, showing that the exact form of the trade-off determines, in a predictable way, the outcome of evolution. However in nature trade-off data is often too noisy to discern shape. To address this problem we discuss how we can infer geometry directly from the biophysical mechanisms that cause trade-offs.  Finally, we will introduce a number of microbial cooperative system and show, using a combination of mathematical models and laboratory experiments, that trade-offs can play a major role in determining the outcome of microbial cooperation.

Multiscale modelling of cell migration, invasion and aggregation
Lecturer: Professor Luigi Prezziosi,  Politecnico di Torino (

Understanding cell migration in highly constrained extracellular matrices is fundamental in a wide variety of physiological and pathological phenomena, among other in cancer invasion and in embryogenesis. The tutorial will present several modelling framework, from individual-based to continuum models, to simulate several processes such as the invasive behaviour of cancer cells into narrow channels, fiber networks, membranes, and cell layers, the migration and aggregation of endothelial cells to form capillary vessels during vasculogenesis and angiogenesis. Multiscale methods to upscale information from the sub-cellular level to the macroscopic level will also be explained in detail.

Sidansvarig Publicerad: må 17 jun 2019.