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Prof Peter Ashwin



Telephone: 01392 725225

Extension: (Streatham) 5225

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I am a Professor of Mathematics specializing in dynamical systems theory and computational modelling. I have been at Exeter since 2000, having previously held teaching and research positions at Surrey, Warwick, Nice (France) and Marburg (Germany).

Research Interests

My main interests are in nonlinear dynamical systems and applications: bifurcation theory and dynamical systems, especially synchronization problems, symmetric chaotic dynamics and spatially extended systems and nonautonomous systems. Applications of dynamical systems that I have been studying include climate (bifurcations, tipping points), fluids (bifurcations and mixing), laser systems (synchronization), neural systems (perceptual rivalry, intermittent models), materials and electronic systems (digital signal processing), biophysical modelling (cell biology).

Particular themes running through my work include symmetries and intermittent behaviour, and the structure of attractors, in particular, riddled basins of attraction and associated phenomena. I also have interests in random dynamics/stochastically forced systems and in low dimensional dynamics/ergodic theory.

Current research projects include the mathematical modelling of paleoclimate transitions, molecular networks, phase change materials in data storage media, using heteroclinic networks to model functional dynamics in neural and other biomedical systems and tipping points in nonautonomous systems with applications in climate and finance; for more detail see my publications.

In 2012 I was a co-founder of the "Maths for Climate" network "CliMathNet" with EPSRC funding. This continues as an international network of researchers interested in developing and applying cuttiing-edge mathematics and statistics to the Climate system. During 2015-2018 I led the project "ReCoVER" with Prof Tim Lenton (Exeter).  I was Exeter coordinator of the EU Marie Curie ITN programme "CRITICS" looking at mathematics and applications of critical transitions (2015-2019). I was Co-I for a Leverhulme-funded project on ER-organelle interaction (PI: Imogen Sparkes) since 2015. I was Co-I for the EPSRC-funded "Centre for Predictive Modelling in Healthcare" (2016-2020), and the Exeter coordinator of the EU funded "TIPES: Tipping points in the Earth System" that launched in 2019. I am currently PI of the EPSRC funded project "Applied Nonlinear Nonautonomous Systems: Theory, Methods and Applications" 2020-2023 and am the Exeter PI for the EU Marie Curie ITN programme "CriticalEarth" running 2021-2025.

I am happy to supervise MMath, MSc or PhD projects in the areas of my research interests, or related areas of mathematics. Any available positions are advertised on the Centre for Systems Dynamics and Control blog.

Teaching Interests

I am currently teaching on:

  • MTH3019 Mathematics; History and Culture
  • MAGIC020 Dynamical Systems

I am also Director of the MAGIC mathematics PhD taught course centre, a consortium of UK universities.

Other Relevant Information

Since 2022 I am Director of Research and Impact within the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Exeter.

I am Associate Editor for the journals Chaos: An interdisciplinary journal of nonlinear science, Dynamical Systems; an International Journal and Mathematical Neuroscience and Applications and a member of the EPSRC peer review college. I have been an editor for Journal of Mathematical Neuroscience and Frontiers in Applied Mathematics and Statistics. I served as Head of Mathematics and Computer Science at Exeter for the period 2010-14. I was secretary for the European Dynamics Days 2001-2008 and have contributed to activites of the SIAM activity groups on Dynamical Systems and Mathematics of Planet Earth. For 2021-24 I am serving on the Council of the London Mathematical Society.


MA (Camb), CAS (Camb), PhD (Warwick), Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy