Michael Plank

ProfessorMichael Plank

Jack Erskine 614
Internal Phone: 92462

Qualifications & Memberships

Research Interests

Michael Plank is a Professor in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and Principal Investigator at Te Pūnaha Matatini, New Zealand's Centre of Research Excellence in Complex Systems and Data Analytics. He obtained his BSc(Hons) in Mathematics from the University of Bristol in 2000 and his PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of Leeds in 2003. He started at the University of Canterbury as a postdoctoral research fellow in 2004 and as a permanent academic staff member in 2006.

Professor Plank is an expert in mathematical modelling of complex biological and social systems at multiple scales, from intracellular signalling and collective cell behaviour, through to large ecosystem dynamics. His research is application-driven and focuses on mechanistic mathematical and stochastic models that capture emergent behaviour and offer qualitative insight into underlying mechanisms. His areas of expertise include ecological and social networks, population dynamics, epidemiological models, size-structured marine ecosystems, collective cell behaviour, and intracellular dynamics. His research draws on numerous fields in applied mathematics including stochastic processes, integro and partial differential equations, dynamical systems, spatial moment dynamics, statistical modelling, and parameter inference.

Recent Publications

  • Hackney M., James A. and Plank MJ. (2021) Cooperative and non-cooperative behaviour in the exploitation of a common renewable resource with environmental stochasticity. Applied Mathematical Modelling 89: 1041-1054. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apm.2020.06.079.
  • Vattiato G., Plank MJ., James A. and Binny RN. (2021) Individual heterogeneity affects the outcome of small mammal pest eradication. Theoretical Ecology http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12080-020-00491-6.
  • Zhou S., Garcia SM., Kolding J. and Plank MJ. (2021) Commentary: Fishing Without a Trace? Assessing the Balanced Harvest Approach Using EcoTroph. Frontiers in Marine Science 7 http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2020.610216.
  • Barrett-Walker T., Plank MJ., Ka'ai-Mahuta R., Hikuroa D. and James A. (2020) Kia kaua te reo e rite ki te moa, ka ngaro: Do not let the language suffer the same fate as the Moa. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 17(162) http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2019.0526.
  • Binny RN., Law R. and Plank MJ. (2020) Living in groups: Spatial-moment dynamics with neighbour-biased movements. Ecological Modelling 415 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2019.108825.