Michael Plank

ProfessorMichael Plank

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, a Fellow of the New Zealand Mathematical Society, and a Principal Investigator at Te Pūnaha Matatini, New Zealand's Centre of Research Excellence in Complex Systems. 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

  • Hendy SC., Wiles S., Binny R. and Plank MJ. (2022) Comment on ‘Government mandated lockdowns do not reduce COVID-19 deaths: implications for evaluating the stringent New Zealand response’. New Zealand Economic Papers 56(1): 29-35. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00779954.2022.2034176.
  • Klowss JJ., Browning AP., Murphy RJ., Carr EJ., Plank MJ., Gunasingh G., Haass NK. and Simpson MJ. (2022) A stochastic mathematical model of 4D tumour spheroids with real-time fluorescent cell cycle labelling. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 19(189) http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2021.0903.
  • Plank MJ., James A., Lustig A., Steyn N., Binny RN. and Hendy SC. (2022) Potential reduction in transmission of COVID-19 by digital contact tracing systems: a modelling study.. Math Med Biol 39(2): 156-168. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/imammb/dqac002.
  • Steyn N., Lustig A., Hendy SC., Binny RN. and Plank MJ. (2022) Effect of vaccination, border testing, and quarantine requirements on the risk of COVID-19 in New Zealand: A modelling study. Infectious Disease Modelling 7(1): 184-198. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.idm.2021.12.006.
  • Steyn N., Plank MJ., Binny RN., Hendy SC., Lustig A. and Ridings K. (2022) A COVID-19 vaccination model for Aotearoa New Zealand. Scientific Reports 12(1) http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-06707-5.