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.
  • Hendy S., Steyn N., James A., Plank MJ., Hannah K., Binny RN. and Lustig A. (2021) Mathematical modelling to inform New Zealand’s COVID-19 response. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 51(S1): S86-S106. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03036758.2021.1876111.
  • James A., Plank MJ., Binny RN., Lustig A., Hannah K., Hendy SC. and Steyn N. (2021) A structured model for COVID-19 spread: modelling age and healthcare inequities.. Math Med Biol http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/imammb/dqab006.
  • James A., Plank MJ., Hendy S., Binny R., Lustig A., Steyn N., Nesdale A. and Verrall A. (2021) Successful contact tracing systems for COVID-19 rely on effective quarantine and isolation. PLOS ONE 16(6): e0252499-e0252499. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0252499.
  • James A., Plank MJ., Hendy S., Binny RN., Lustig A. and Steyn N. (2021) Model-free estimation of COVID-19 transmission dynamics from a complete outbreak. PLoS ONE 16(3 March) http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0238800.