The dramatic advances made in genetic and molecular biology in recent years have led to an unparalleled flood of experimental data on increasingly fine spatial and temporal scales. We can visualise proteins and mRNAs at the levels of single cells, and below, yet these genetic blueprints on their own are not sufficient to understand how the embryo is built. This task requires us to stitch together the myriad effects of biochemical signalling with cell and tissue mechanics, and unravel the feedback between the two. I am convinced that the only way in which we can achieve this task is to fully integrate theoretical approaches into the experimental toolkit we have to explore biological processes. They enable investigation of the effects of multiple non-linear mechanisms interacting on many spatio-temporal scales in a systematic and consistent way, and this is crucial to our success in elucidating the fundamental mechanisms underlying development.
In this light, my research is concerned with developing and applying mathematical and computational tools to further our understanding of cell and developmental biology processes. On the following pages you can find out more information about individual research areas.