Professor Andrew R. FrancisFAustMS
My mathematical biology work
began with the question of how to best understand the immensely
detailed genetic data arising from an outbreak of infectious
disease such as tuberculosis. More recently I have been working
on understanding the evolutionary processes behind the structure
of bacterial genomes. In general, I am interested in how
mathematics can help describe the processes underlying the
science we observe. This work has been with a number of
collaborators (notably A/Prof Mark
Tanaka at UNSW), and has been funded by several ARC
Discovery Grants (2005-2007, 2009-2013, 2013-2015), and by an
ARC Future Fellowship (2010-2014) that focusses on the use of
algebra to study evolution.
Our 2009 paper, "The
epidemiological fitness cost of drug resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis"
by Fabio Luciani, Scott Sisson, Honglin Jiang, Andrew Francis
and Mark Tanaka in Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences of the USA (August 2009), has
received media attention, e.g.: an interview on ABC
Radio National PM, an article on ABC
Science Online, an article in the Sydney
I have several other active research programmes that relate to the
above, including some recent work on phylogenetic
networks with Mike Steel
(Canterbury), and work on algebraic statistics with Henry Wynn (LSE).
I am interested in recruiting suitably
qualified honours or PhD students in both algebra and
mathematical biology, please contact me if interested.
Current research students: Sangeeta Bhatia, Stuart Serdoz, Tanzila Chowdhury, Chad Clark, Michael Hendriksen.
Recent students include Brent Le Cornu (honours 2009), who completed a project on knot invariants and has now just finished a PhD in plasma physics at UWS, Tanzila Chowdhury (2015) who worked drug resistance in tuberculosis, and Stuart Serdoz (2012), Terry Bowers (2011) and Chad Clark (2015), who all worked on modelling bacterial evolution using group theory. I regularly supervise undergraduate research projects. Recent topics include Symmetric polynomials, the Geometry of reflection groups, Galois theory, Cyclotomic polynomials, The Robinson-Schensted correspondence, and Bacterial genome organization.
Prof. Andrew Francis,