Accessibility statement

You're viewing an archived page from a previous Festival of Ideas. See this year's festival »

The Art of Measure: Virus form and function
Briony Thomas, University of Leeds and Reidun Twarock, University of York

Art of Measure


Wheelchair accessible

Event details

University of York

Holbeck Trust logo

Join designer Briony Thomas of the University of Leeds, and mathematical virologist Reidun Twarock, of the University of York, as they discuss their interactive exhibition exploring recent advances in our understanding of the virus structure. The talk is followed by an opportunity to participate in hands-on workshop activities suitable for all ages.

View the accompany exhibition Viruses: Mathematical visualisations.

Speaker biographies

Briony Thomas joined the University of Leeds in 2004, where she currently holds the academic position of Lecturer in Design Theory. After studying textile design, she continued her postgraduate research studies in design theory, gaining an MA Design (Design Theory) and PhD (Design Science). A specialist in design analysis, Briony’s theoretical work focuses on the application of geometric concepts as problem-solving tools. This interdisciplinary research transcends the boundaries between art, science and mathematics.

Briony has over ten years’ experience of professional practice. Her work has been exhibited internationally in California and New York, as well as venues in Canada and across Europe.

Reidun Twarock is Professor of Mathematical Biology in the Departments of Mathematics and Biology in York. She has pioneered the area of Mathematical Virology, which focuses on the development and application of mathematical tools to better understand how viruses form, evolve and infect their hosts. Her highly interdisciplinary research team, which encompasses different theoretical disciplines including mathematical biology, biophysics, bioinformatics and computational chemistry, is located in the York Centre for Complex Systems Analysis, and collaborates closely with experimental colleagues from the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology at the University of Leeds.

Reidun Twarock is a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications and recipient of a Leverhulme Trust Research Leadership Award. She has delivered a number of prestigious named lectures, such as the Plancherel Lecture in Fribourg in 2011 and the Ladyzhenskaya Lecture in Leipzig in 2012, and she is this year’s Mary Cartwright Lecturer of the London Mathematical Society. Her work has been covered by a number of case studies as a demonstration of the impact of mathematics in society, and her recent discovery of a novel anti-viral strategy, together with her experimental collaborator Prof. Peter Stockley from Leeds, will also be featured as a forthcoming EPSRC Growth Story.

After her PhD studies at the Technical University of Clausthal in Germany, Reidun held a number of prestigious research fellowships, including a Dorothea Erxleben fellowship (Germany), a Marie Curie fellowship (York) and an EPSRC Advanced Fellowship (London/York). She was appointed Lecturer of Mathematics at City University in London in 2001, joined the University of York as a Reader in Mathematics and Biology in 2005, and was promoted to Professor of Mathematical Biology in 2009.

 Reidun serves or has served on a number of national committees, including the Research Policy Committee of the London Mathematical Society, the EPSRC Strategic Advisory Teams for Mathematics and Healthcare, and the Steering Committee of the Isaac Newton Institute in Cambridge. She is co-director of the Wellcome Trust funded Doctoral Training Centre on Combating Infectious Disease in York, and will be co-organiser of a semester programme on Mathematical Molecular Biosciences at the NSF-funded Mathematical Biosciences Institute in Ohio in 2015.




Festival tweets