Dr Alexander P Browning

BMath, MPhil, PhD

I’m Alex, a Hooke Research Fellow in mathematical biology at the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford. I’m also a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford, and a tutor at St Anne’s College, Oxford. My research interests include applied mathematics problems that use individual-based models, inference and identifiability techniques, optimal control, and the integration of biological systems in engineered materials.

Research Experience

I completed a Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Mathematics in August 2021 (awarded February 2022) for my thesis entitled “Model complexity in biology and bioengineering”. Throughout and following my studies I have pursued collaborations with biologists to further the application of mathematical models to gain unique insights from experimental data. Following the completion of my PhD, I was awarded a SPRINT grant from the Australian Centre of Excellence in Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers and an Australian Mathematical Society Lift-off Fellowship to develop mathematical and statistical techniques to identify cell-to-cell variability in material uptake (paper 1 and paper 2). I am currently a Hooke Research Fellow at the University of Oxford.

Education and Training

I completed the Bachelor of Mathematics at the Queensland University of Technology in 2015, with a High Distinction. I went on to study a Masters of Philosophy under Professor Matthew Simpson and Professor Scott McCue, at the Queensland University of Technology, which I completed in mid-2017.

I was recently awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Queensland University of Technology under Professor Matthew Simpson, Professor Kevin Burrage and Dr Francis Woodhouse. I was privileged to receive an Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award for my thesis, meaning that it was ranked in the top 5% of QUT PhD theses in 2022.

I have extensive computational and programming skills, ranging from scientific computing (MATLAB, Julia, C, C++, Mathematica, Python, and R) to web-development (HTML, PHP and SQL). A recent piece of work (published in eLife) involved experimental work, providing me with basic skills in two- and three-dimensional cell culture, confocal microscopy, and image processing. This work also involved the development of a novel experimental protocol.


  1. QUT Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award for a thesis ranked in the top 5% of QUT PhD theses in 2022
  2. Australasian Society for Dermatology Research publication of the quarter winner (Q4 2021) for “Quantitative analysis of tumour spheroid structure”
  3. ANZIAM 2021 joint winner of the TM Cherry Prize for best talk by a student
  4. Society for Mathematical Biology Lee A Segal Best Student Paper [Download Paper]
  5. ANZIAM 2020 honourable mention for the TM Cherry prize [Download Presentation]
  6. QANZIAM 2019 best student talk
  7. MBSIG best student paper (2019) [Read Paper]
  8. ANZIAM 2019 honourable mention for the TM Cherry prize [Download Presentation]
  9. Australian RTP scholarship (2018 – present)
  10. Deans list for academic excellence (2013 – 2015)

Conferences and Talks

I regularly present my work at conferences, and have given numerous talks and school seminars at universities in Australia and the UK. Recently, I was invited to give a plenary presentation at the annual Society for Mathematical Biology conference.

Teaching Experience

Lecturing Experience
During my PhD, I lectured two units, 6 weeks each of introductory statistics for mathematics students, and introductory statistics for health sciences students. In a previous role at QUT (Feb – Aug 2022) I lectured and coordinated an introductory probability and stochastic modelling unit.

Other Teaching Experience
I was a sessional academic at QUT from 2016 to 2021. During this time I have tutored a range of first to final year mathematics and statistics subjects, ranging from mathematics for engineering students, statistics for health science and mathematics students, to advanced partial differential equation and statistical modelling units. In several units I acted as senior tutor, which involved the development of workshop material and assessment. At Oxford, I hold a tutoring position at St Anne’s College, filling in the role for a Professor and Tutorial Fellow at the College. This involves taking part in a range of activities, from Oxford admission interviews to facilitating first and second year college teaching in applied mathematics.