UK Nonlinear News Issue 54, Mar 2009


Nonlinearity is pleased to announce the formation of the Nonlinear and Complex Physics Group of the Institute of Physics. The group is chaired by Professor Thomas Mullin, University of Manchester, UK. The group will hold its inaugural meeting at the University of Manchester (UK) on 1-2 April 2009, and will feature talks from the following invited speakers:
P. Ball (Nature) - Complexity
K. Dholakia (University of St Andrews, UK) - Optical trapping
J. Gollub (Haverford College, USA) - Nonlinear physics and fluid dynamics
S. Hilgenfeldt (University of Illinois, USA) - Foams and biological physics
D. Lohse (Twente University, Netherlands) - Bubbles and microfluidics
G. -L. Oppo (University of Strathclyde, UK) - Nonlinear optics


The nonlinear and complex dynamics group at the University of Aberdeen has recently been enriched by new academic appointments. The academic staff in this area are the following:
Prof Celso Grebogi, Sixth Century Chair in Nonlinear and Complex Systems
Prof Juergen Kurths, Sixth Century Chair in Nonlinear Systems Biology
Prof Ying-Cheng Lai, Sixth Century Chair in Electrical Engineering
Dr. Oliver Ebenhoeh, Reader in Systems Biology and Bioinformatics
Dr. Murilo Baptista, Senior Lecturer in Nonlinear Dynamics and Complex Networks
Dr. Alessandro Moura, Lecturer in Statistical Physics and Systems Biology
Dr. Marco Thiel, Lecturer in the Theory of Dynamical Systems
Dr. Mamen Romano, Lecturer in Nonlinear Dynamics and Systems Biology
Dr. Ekkehard Ullner, Lecturer in Stochastic Dynamics and Systems Biology

Recent Theses

  • Dynamics of Neural Field Models
    Nikola Venkov (School of Mathematical Sciences, Nottingham)
    In recent years significant progress has been made in understanding the brain electrodynamics using mathematical techniques. At the level of neural tissue brain cortex could be represented as a two-dimensional sheet of densely interconnected neurons. A suitable mathematical description in this context are integro-differential nonlinear equations called neural field models. We study the capability of these models to exhibit complex spatio-temporal dynamics. To this end we adapt techniques developed for the analysis of nonlinear PDEs. We focus on the class ofmodels including space-dependent delays. Delays arise due to the finite propagation speed of information along the axon, or the diffusive nature of propagation in the dendritic tree. In the first part of the Thesis we develop the analysis of Turing-type pattern formation in one dimension. Thanks to the delay mechanism patterns can be dynamic: global oscillation, travelling or standing waves. We use multiple scales analysis to derive the normal form of the bifurcation. We obtain the mean-field Ginzburg-Landau equations. We establish the parameter windows of various dynamical regimes and secondary instabilities. In the second part, we look at neural fields defined over two spatial dimensions, again including delays. We propose a method for constructing PDE systems that approximate the dynamics but are far easier to solve numerically. We also consider pattern formation in a model with anisotropic 'patchy' connectivity, in view of the novel concept for the crystalline micro-structure of neocortex. We complete the Thesis with some results about 1D localised solutions (bumps) which are analogs of autosolitons in reaction-diffusion systems. We clarify the scope of validity of the Amari method for establishing bump stability. For a solution composed of a number of bumps interacting weakly, we derive reduced equations of motion which govern the bumps' positions.
  • Dynamics in the Hopf bundle, the geometric phase and implications for dynamical systems
    Rupert Way (Department of Mathematics, University of Surrey)


DSWeb Professional Opportunities in Dynamical Systems

Postgraduate opportunities: Leeds  Warwick  Surrey

Meetings, Conferences and Events

Conference Listing by date.

Publishers' Announcements

WWW addresses for Publishers

Journal News

  • To celebrate Nonlinearity's 20th anniversary, a series of Open Problems articles was published in issues throughout 2008. These short, commissioned articles present personal selections of interesting and/or important problems and challenges, large and small, from leaders in the field. We took great pleasure in inviting these articles and our hope is that they will contribute to setting the agenda for future research. You can read these articles for free online until the end of 2009 at
  • Nonlinearity's high-profile articles of 2008 - free to read

Issue Fifty five: June 2009

Issue Fifty five is scheduled for June 2009. Submission of news (new courses, meetings, conferences, new appointments, jobs, new research directions etc.), comments or articles about any aspect of nonlinearity in the UK are very welcome and should arrive by 13 June 2009.