Dr Kit Yates (University of Bath)

Adventures in developmental biology

In this talk I will give a number of short vignettes of work that has been undertaken in my group over the last 15 years. Mathematically, the theme that underlies our work is the importance of randomness to biological systems. I will explore a number of systems for which randomness plays a critical role. Models of these systems which ignore this important feature do a poor job of replicating the known biology, which in turn limits their predictive power. The underlying biological theme of the majority our work is development, but the tools and techniques we have built can be applied to multiple biological systems and indeed further afield. Topics will be drawn from, locust migration, zebrafish pigment pattern formation, mammalian cell migratory defects, appropriate cell cycle modelling and more. I won’t delve to deeply into anyone area, but am happy to take question or to expand upon of the areas I touch on.

Kit Yates is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mathematical Sciences and co-director of the Centre for Mathematical Biology at the University of Bath. He completed his PhD in Mathematics at the University of Oxford in 2011.

From the mathematical point of view, his group focussed on systems in which stochasticity (randomness) plays an important role – the fully stochastic model of the system displays different behaviour to that of the corresponding deterministic model (if such a model exists). From a biological stand-point Kit place no restrictions on the types of systems on which members of his group work, other than that they conform, in some sense, to the mathematical areas of interest above. In particular, I have worked across a variety of spatial and temporal scales modelling the microscale stochastic motion of single molecules at one end to the macroscale migration of swarming insects at the other (and the wide range scales in between).