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

  • 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.
  • Browning AP., Jin W., Plank MJ. and Simpson MJ. (2020) Identifying density-dependent interactions in collective cell behaviour. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 17(165) http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2020.0143.
  • Burgess MG. and Plank MJ. (2020) What unmanaged fishing patterns reveal about optimal management: applied to the balanced harvesting debate. ICES Journal of Marine Science 77(3): 901-910. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsaa012.
  • Edwards AM., Robinson JPW., Blanchard JL., Baum JK. and Plank MJ. (2020) Accounting for the bin structure of data removes bias when fitting size spectra. Marine Ecology Progress Series 636: 19-33. http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps13230.