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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 studing 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.

Since 2012 I have been leading the EPSRC network CliMathNet with Prof Chris Budd (Bath) and since 2015 am leading a new EPSRC network "mathematics for living with environmental change" programme ReCoVER with Prof Tim Lenton (Exeter).  I am Exeter coordinator of the EU Marie Curie ITN programme "CRITICS" (overall coordination, Imperial College London) looking at mathematics and applications of critical transitions, running 2015-2019. I am Co-I for a Leverhulme-funded project on ER-organelle interaction (PI: Imogen Sparkes) since 2015. I am Co-I for the EPSRC-funded "Centre for Predictive Modelling in Healthcare" launched in 2016 at Exeter, and the Exeter coordinator of the EU funded "TIPES: Tipping points in the Earth System" that launched in 2019. I am PI of the EPSRC funded project "Applied Nonlinear Nonautonomous Systems: Theory, Methods and Applications" starting 2020.

I am happy to supervise MMath, MSc or PhD projects in the areas of my research interests, or related areas of mathematics.

I have a possible funded studentship in Low order climate models to identify safe pathways for atlantic circulation (contact me if you are interested)

Position available

Funded PhD position (EPSRC funding eligibility needed) Nonautonomous instability of climate models, Mathematics –  Ref: 3912. Starts end Sept 2020, closing date for applications 29th May 2020.

Teaching Interests

I am currently teaching:

  • MTH3019 Mathematics; History and Culture
  • ECMM718 Dynamical Systems and Chaos
  • MAGIC020 Dynamical Systems

I am co-Director of Education for Mathematics at Exeter. I am also director of the MAGIC mathematics PhD taught course centre, a consortium of UK universities.

Other Relevant Information

I am Associate Editor for the journals "Chaos: An interdisciplinary journal of nonlinear science", "Dynamical Systems; an International Journal", "Journal of Mathematical Neuroscience" and "Frontiers in Applied Mathematics and Statistics" and a member of the EPSRC peer review college. I served as Head of Mathematics and Computer Science at Exeter for the period 2010-2014. I was secretary for the European Dynamics Days 2001-2008 and involved in the SIAM activity group "Mathematics of Planet Earth"

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