Tobias Galla





  Schuster Building 7.16


  Tobias Galla
  Senior Lecturer
  Complex Systems and Statistical Physics Group
  School of Physics and Astronomy
  The University of Manchester
  M13 9PL



Research Interests

  • statistical mechanics of complex systems
  • stochastic dynamics in biological systems
  • evolutionary dynamics, game theory and cancer modelling
  • mathematical modelling in health care, uncertainty quantification
  • non-Markovian dynamics and stochastic delay systems
  • pattern formation in stochastic systems

Selected papers


All papers

    A full list of publications can be found here.

Manchester Collaborators

Current PhD students
Francisco Herrerias-Azcue, Models of epidemiology
Peter Hufton, Individual-based models with switching environments
Marco Smolla (external, Faculty of Life Sciences), Models of social learning in animals
Matthew Russell, Uncertainty quantification in models of stochastic transport
Henri Kauhanen (external, Linguistics, English Language), Agent-based models of language evolution

Yen Ting Lin, Uncertainty quantification in healthcare modelling
Nick Phillips (external, Faculty of Life Sciences), Models of gene regulatory systems, PhD 2016 (now postdoc in Manchester)
Peter Ashcroft, Stochastic evolutionary dynamics and cancer modelling, PhD 2015, now postdoc at ETH Zurich
Tobias Brett, Stochastic dynamics with delay, PhD 2015, now postdoc in the US
John Realpe Gomez, postdoc 2011-12
Michalis Smyrnakis, postdoc 2010-13
Alex Bladon, PhD 2011 (now bioinformatician at Illumina Cambridge)




  • since 09/07: School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester, UK
    (09/07-08/12 RCUK Fellow/Lecturer; since 08/12 Senior Lecturer)
  • May 2007: certificate Advanced security in the field, UN Department of Safety and Security 
  • 9/04-08/07: postdoc, ICTP Trieste statistical physics group (and INFM-CNR-SISSA),
    funded through STIPCO and GENNETEC networks
  • November 2004: Doctor of Philosophy, Theoretical Physics, University of Oxford,
    group of David Sherrington
  • December 1999: Diplom in Physics, University of Muenster, Germany
    group of Gernot Muenster
  • September 1996: Vordiplom in Physics and in Mathematics, University of Muenster 
  • June 1980: Diploma of play, Parents nursery school Palo Alto, California 

Teaching (2014/15)

See here for past teaching.

Erasmus (Physics with Study in Europe)

I am the Programme Director for "Physics with Study in Europe" (aka `The Erasmus Guy').

See here for info for inbound Erasmus students.

For prospective MPhys students

I normally run 2-3 MPhys projects at any given time. These are usually linked to our ongoing research, I prefer to make them "mini-PhDs", which is why I normally favour full-year projects. Available topics vary from semester to semester (following the natural flow of our research), but they all focus on the application of nonlinear dynamics, statistical physics and the theory of stochastic processes to the mathematical modelling and simulation of problems in complex systems. Past and present topics have for example included
  • The dynamics of Minority Games
  • Chaos in game theory
  • Stochastic models of evolutionary processes
  • Agent-based modelling of evacuation dynamics
  • When symmetry breaks, how big are the pieces ? The dynamics of defect formation
  • Stochastic processes on complex networks
You might also want to look at the web pages of the Complex Systems and Statistical Physics Group, in particular the section on our research interests.

For prospective PhD students in statistical physics of complex systems

If you are interested in a PhD in the area of complex systems, then you might also want to look at the web pages of the
Complex Systems and Statistical Physics Group, in particular the section on Postgraduate Opportunities, where you can find a list of potential topics. You can also contact me by email and come by to talk in more detail.

Meetings I (co-)organised

Two-day General Network Discussion Meeting, Viewpoints on Emergent Phenomena in Nonequilibrium Systems
June 23rd and 24th 2014, Higgs Centre for Theoretical Physics, Edinburgh

EPSRC NetworkPlus focused meeting, Nonequilibrium statistical physics of populations in biology, economics and the social sciences
Manchester, 8th and 9th April 2014

Symposium Stochastic Dynamics of Growth Processes in Biological and Social systems
Meeting of German Physical Society, Dresden, April 2014

Three-day complexity retreat
University of Manchester, June 2012

Five mini-symposia, Topics in Complexity Science
University of Manchester, February-July 2012

One-day IOP meeting
Complexity of evolutionary processes in biology and the behavioural sciences
13th June 2011 in Manchester, organised by the Nonlinear and Complex Physics group of the IOP

Three-day meeting Modelling Complex Systems
Manchester, 21-23 June 2010

Mini Symposium Topological defects on 18th May 2010

One-day IOP meeting Complexity and nonlinear phenomena in biological systems
20th May 2010 in Bath
Organised by the Nonlinear and Complex Physics group of the IOP
Click here to enter the group's web page.

Three-day meeting: Introductory Lectures on Aspects of Complexity
University of Manchester, 6-8th July 2009
Please click
here for the programme and slides of presentations