PhD Studentship: Modelling and dynamics of the sleep/wake cycle and (other) daily rhythms

University of Surrey

Supervisor names: Dr Anne Skeldon and Professor Gianne Derks

Funding status: Competition Funded Project (Students Worldwide)

Project description: Sleep is essential for the healthy functioning of mind and body, yet in many ways it still remains mysterious. We know that poor sleep, or sleeping at the wrong time can have a major disruptive effect on the human body and is correlated with many major medical problems including obesity, cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes and cognitive decline. Mathematical models can help us understand the underlying biological mechanisms of sleep and effective interventions for sleep problems.  

The sleep/wake cycle is one of many approximately daily rhythms that occur in our bodies. These daily rhythms interact with each other and are often represented as being the result of a complex, hierarchical, network of oscillators. Current models of daily rhythms typically consider only a few aspects of this complex network and there are many open questions.

This project will involve close collaboration with biologists in the large chronobiology group at the University of Surrey and will build on recent advances we have made in understanding sleep/wake regulation. There is scope within the project to take the mathematics in several different directions depending on your own interests either analysing existing mathematical models in more detail, developing new models, investigating novel ways to extract information from times series or working more closely with experimental data.

Funding notes: The Faculty has a number of fully funded PhD studentships for UK and EU nationals who can demonstrate the appropriate residency requirements. These studentships will include the tuition fees and a tax-free stipend. The Department has also a few scholarships for partial funding for overseas fees. However, funding for overseas students is limited and overseas students are encouraged to find suitable funding themselves.

Application enquiries: Dr Matt Turner

Subject areas: Mathematics, Applied Mathematics

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South East England