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Personal profile

Research interests

My research concerns the application of mathematics to problems in ecology, cell biology and medicine. The objective is this research is to use mathematics to obtain a better understanding of complex behaviour in biology. Often this involves developing new mathematics in order to study the mathematical models. Specific topics on which my research is focussed include spatiotemporal dynamics of cyclic populations, vegetation patterns in semi-arid environments, and long-range cell-cell interactions in developmental biology and tumour growth.


I have been Professor of Mathematics at Heriot-Watt University since January 1998. I was an undergraduate at the University of Cambridge (1985-1988), followed by graduate work at the University of Washington. My doctorate from the University of Oxford (1991) was supervised by J.D. Murray, FRS. I did postdoctoral work at Oxford, and was a Lecturer(1994-1997) and then Senior Lecturer (1997) at the University of Warwick before moving to Heriot-Watt.

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Theoretical Models Medicine & Life Sciences
Periodic Traveling Waves Mathematics
Wound Healing Medicine & Life Sciences
traveling waves Physics & Astronomy
Invasion Mathematics
Population Medicine & Life Sciences
Vegetation Mathematics
Neoplasms Medicine & Life Sciences

Research Output 1990 2020

Periodic Traveling Waves
Predator-prey System

Metastability as a Coexistence Mechanism in a Model for Dryland Vegetation Patterns

Eigentler, L. & Sherratt, J. A., Jul 2019, In : Bulletin of Mathematical Biology. 81, 7, p. 2290-2322 33 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

arid lands

Spatial self-organisation enables species coexistence in a model for savanna ecosystems

Eigentler, L. & Sherratt, J. A., 17 Dec 2019, In : Journal of Theoretical Biology. 487, 110122.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Analysis of a model for banded vegetation patterns in semi-arid environments with nonlocal dispersal

Eigentler, L. & Sherratt, J. A., Sep 2018, In : Journal of Mathematical Biology. 77, 3, p. 739–763 25 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Seed Dispersal
Plant Dispersal
dry environmental conditions
seed dispersal
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Open Access