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Dr Katerina Kaouri

Dr Katerina Kaouri

Lecturer in Applied Mathematics

School of Mathematics

+44 (0)29 2087 5259
M/2.36, Maths and Education Building , Senghennydd Road, Cardiff, CF24 4AG
Media commentator
Available for postgraduate supervision

I am a Lecturer in Applied Mathematics (equivalent to Assistant Professor - tenured) at the Cardiff School of Maths and a member of the Applied and Computational Mathematics group.

In my research I use deterministic and stochastic mathematical methodologies to solve cutting-edge challenges in biology, engineering, and physics but also in industry and society. My current focus is calcium signalling and its interplay with cellular mechanics during fertilization and embryogenesis. I am also very interested and participate in industry-academia and society-academia collaborative research projects. I am a core team member in the EU-funded  Mathematics for Industry Network (32 countries) and also in the H2020 project where we (18 organisations in 12 countries) work closely with society to identify and solve pressing societal challenges through collaborative research. I have initiated and coordinated twice a European Study Group with Industry in Cyprus, in 2016 (ESGI125) and in 2018 (ESGI146). 

For the last 15 years I have also been involved in several science communication and outreach activities as a communicator or organizer. I have co-founded the Mediterranean Science Festival in Cyprus, I was a TEDxNicosia speaker in 2013 where I talked about `Rethinking maths' and I have created a TED Ed video on the modelling of sonic booms (2+ million views). I welcome invitations to give popularised talks and other ideas for collaboration.


  • 01 Mar 2019: Dr Vasiliki Bitsouni has joined the team as a postdoctoral researcher for a year. She will be working on calcium signalling in cancer. Welcome Vasiliki!
  • 01 Feb 2019: Claudia Fanelli, PhD student at the Centre de Recerca Matematica under the supervision of Prof Tim Myers, has arrived today. She is visiting me and Prof Tim Phllips to work on modelling and simulation of magnetic targeting in blood flows for three months. Welcome Claudia!
  • 25 Jan and 18 Mar 2019: I was invited to the Cypriot TV Show "Thekla milame anoikta" (SIGMA channel) where we discussed the diverse applications of Maths in our lives, and science communication.
  • 23 Jan 2019: I organised a half-day meeting on calcium signalling in development, at Cardiff which brought together mathematical modellers and biologists, from academia and industry. More information can be found here
  • Jan 2019: Two new postgraduate students have arrived - Abhishek Chakraborty and Wasaif Alruwaele. They will be working with me and other collaborators in calcium signalling in development
  • 7 Dec. 2018: The 146th European Study Group with Industry has now finished! ESGI146 was the 2nd Study Group with Industry in Cyprus  (I was the lead organiser). It brought together 37 researchers from 10 countries who tackled for a week, in teams, three real-life challenges with societal impact. 
  • 15 Nov 2018: Muhammad Khan, PhD student, has arrived from Pakistan to work with me and Prof. Tim Phillips on magnetic targeting, until end of April 2019. Welcome Muhammad!

Present administrative duties

Cardiff University

  • Student-Staff Panel member
  • School of Maths research Impact team
  • Personal Tutor

External duties

Work experience

  • Lecturer in Applied Mathematics, School of Mathematics, Cardiff University, UK (2018-)
  • Co-Founder and Director of the non-profit SciCo Cyprus, Cyprus (2015-)
  • Research Fellow, Department of Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering and Informatics, Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus (2016-2017)
  • Expert Scientist, Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus (2015-17)
  • Assistant Professor, Intercollege Limassol (2010-2015)
  • Strategy and business consultant (2007-2010) (Boston Consulting Group, HELP-FORWARD Network)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Mathematical Medicine and Biology, Nottingham University (2005-2007)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Oxford Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics & Wolfson Centre for Mathematical Biology, Oxford University (2004-2005)


  • DPhil in Applied Mathematics, University of Oxford (fully funded by the Sonic Boom European Research Programme)
  • MSc in Mathematical Modelling and Scientific Computing, Oxford University (top Distinction)
  • MS in Applied Physics, Columbia University (fully funded by a university award)
  • BA in Pure and Applied Mathematics, University of Cambridge (full-cost Cambridge Commonwealth Scholarship)

Selected grants and awards

  •, H2020 project (RIA, Science with and for Society) - €101K (Role: Project leader, SciCo Cyprus). Total EU budget: €3 million. 18 partners in 12 countries. Identification and solution of 250 societal challenges across Europe through community-based research
  • Grants and sponsorships for the organisation of the 146th European Study Group with Industry (2nd Study Group with Industry in Cyprus) - €30K. Funding bodies: Mathematics for Industry Network (major contributor),, KPMG Cyprus (strategic partner), ExxonMobil, University of Cyprus, CY Research Promotion Foundation, Cyprus Tourism Organisation, British High Commission in Cyprus
  • Grants and sponsorships for the organisation of the 125th European Study Group with Industry (1st Study Group with Industry in Cyprus, 2016) - €37K. (Role: Principal applicant) Funding bodies: Mathematics for Industry Network (major contributor), KPMG Cyprus (major sponsor), Cyprus University of Technology, University of Cyprus, CY Research Promotion Foundation, Cyprus Tourism Organisation, British High Commission in Cyprus
  • Award for the organisation of the industry-academia workshop in Cyprus (2017) - €1500 Euro (Role: Principal applicant) Funding bodies: Mathematics for Industry Network, British High Commission in Cyprus, Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Several awards for international research visits ~10K Euros Funding bodies: Mathematics for Industry Network (3 Short-Term Scientific Missions to Oxford University), ERASMUS+, Cyprus University of Technology
  • Fund-raising for the organisation of the Mediterranean Science Festival - ~50K Euros (Role: MSF Co-founder and co-director)
  • Scholarships for academic excellence throughout the course of studies - ~200K Euros
    • Cambridge University (full-cost scholarship for BA studies and ORS award for PhD studies - declined)
    • Columbia University (full-cost award for MS studies),
    • Oxford University (Alan Tayler Bursary for MSc studies and Somerville College graduate scholarship for DPhil studies)
    • Sonic Boom European Research Programme (full-cost scholarship for DPhil studies at Oxford University)
    • A.G.Leventis Foundation (educational grant for DPhil studies)

Speaking engagements

Recent and upcoming speaking engagements

  •  Two-day meeting in honour of Joe Keller, Oxford University, 24-25 June 2019, Invited talk
  • "Mathematics with and for society", British Applied Mathematics Colloquium, 24-26 April 2019 (Invited minisymposum talk)
  • "Mechanochemical models of calcium signalling in embryonic cells", Half-day meeting "Calcium signalling in fertilization, embryogenesis and development", Cardiff University, January 23, 2019 (speaker and organiser, funded by the London Mathematical Society through a "Celebrating New Appointments" grant)
  • Panel discussion at the European Open Science Forum "Mathematics: a powerful tool for solving pressing business and societal challenges", July 2018 (speaker and co-organiser with Prof. Poul Hjorth @ Technical University of Denmark)
  • Applied and Computational Mathematics Seminar Series, Cardiff University, UK, May 2018
  • BioMaths Colloquium Series, Swansea University, UK, April 27, 2018
  • The interplay of calcium signalling and mechanics in embryonic cells, UK Multiscale Biology ConferenceNottingham, UK 16-18 April 2018












I teach the following two courses this semester (Spring 2019):

  • M0332 - Fluid Mechanics (3rd-year course)
  • MA4004 - Theoretical Fluid Mechanics (MMath course with consists of advanced topics in Fluid Mechanics)

I also supervise the following students

  • Wasaif Alruwaele (PhD student, with Dr T. Woolley and Prof. K. Swann),
  • Abhishek Chakraborty (MPhil by research student, with Prof. T. Phillips)
  • Jaime Gonzalez (MMath student)
  • Muhammad Sohail Khan (PhD student, with Prof. T. Phillips). (Visiting from Peshawar University, Nov. 2018-April 2019)

Research Groups

Applied and Computational Mathematics Group

Research Interests

Deterministic and stochastic modelling and simulation or cutting-edge challenges from biology, engineering, and physics, industry and society.

Fluid Mechanics; Mathematical and Computational Biology (calcium signalling); Industrial Mathematics; Asymptotic methods;

Mathematical/Computational Biology research:

We have a research team working on the following challenges:

  • Mechanochemical models of intracellular and intercellular calcium signalling, which take into account the coupling of calcium to the mechanical behavior of the cell. This coupling plays a crucial role in many body processes and diseases, for example embryogenesis, wound healing, atherosclerosis and cancer. Collaborators: Prof. Philip Maini (Oxford University) Prof. Jon Chapman (Oxford University), Dr Paris Skourides (University of Cyprus), Dr Neophytos Christodoulou (University of Cambridge). See our recent paper.
    • Current postgraduate student: Abishek Chakraborty
    • Postdoctoral researcher: Dr Vasiliki Bitsouni
  • Calcium signalling in fertilization (optimal IVF protocols).  We model and simulate calcium signals in mouse and in human eggs in order to elucidate the conditions of successful In-Vitro Fertilization. It has been shown in recent experiments that the amplitude and frequency of calcium oscillations directly correlate with fertilization success and we are building the first related model. In collaboration with: Prof. Karl Swann, Chair of Reproductive Biology (Cardiff Biosciences), Dr T. Woolley (Cardiff).
    • Students: Wasaif Alruwaele (currently building a Differential Dynamic Microscopy (DDM) algorithm to improve the imaging of fertilizing eggs.), Mohammad Ali Tariq (CUROP award)
  • Data analysis and computational modelling of embryo growth rate and other metrics of success in IVF (in collaboration with the London Women’s Clinic). A key factor for success during an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle is embryo selection. This involves predicting which embryo is most likely to give a viable pregnancy. Current methods such as time-lapse imaging of cell cycles, or metabolic profiling, are respectively unproven or difficult to implement.  We concentrate on cryogenically preserved embryos, which are warmed up and replaced into the uterus after being assessed by the embryologist to have a good chance for pregnancy. LWC have large amounts of data regarding time-lapse image stacks of cells before embryo transfer. The embryologists are highly trained to interpret these image sequences but training personnel to such standards is a slow process. Also, the metrics to assess potential success are not clear. We are developing a sophisticated, user-friendly image segmentation software that will simultaneously extract multiple features of a thawing embryo and identify the best metrics for embryo success.
  • The role uncertainty plays in the way our cells function and sustain life, focusing on the temporal stochastic modelling of intracellular calcium signals. Calcium is an ubiquitous second messenger that communicates important information across the cell. Collaborators: Dr Ioannis Lestas (Cambridge University), Dr Ruediger Thul (University of Nottingham).
    • Student (MMath): Jaime Garcia Gonzalez

Fluid Dynamics research:

  • Water resources management: In the context of the 1st Study Group with Industry I have started collaborating with the Water Development Department in Cyprus, the governmental organisation managing water resources in Cyprus.  Together with an international team of modellers (Raka Mondal, Graham Benham, Sourav Mondal and others) we have been working on models of the Germasogeia aquifer with the objective to establish an optimal recharge protocol. See our recent paper.
  • Magnetic targeting: In magnetic targeting drugs, attached to magnetic particles, are directed to a specific part of the human body by applying a magnetic field. Computational simulations are performed of blood flow, assuming it is a non-Newtonian fluid and the magnetic particle motion in arteries is investigated. With: Prof. Tim Phillips (Cardiff).
    • Students (visiting): Claudia Fanelli, Muhammad Sohail Khan (studying in Spain and Pakistan, respectively) 
  • Fluid flow in optical fibers: With Dr Paul Christodoulides at the Cyprus University of Technology  (CUT) we  have co-supervised a MSc student on this project (2018). We aim to link the developed models to experiments on optical fibers at the Kallis lab (CUT).

Please contact me if you are interested in working on any of the above challenges

Other research projects:

I have worked on various other research projects throughout the years. Below I highlight some key projects:

  • Sonic boom modelling: In my DPhil research (University of Oxford) I have developed mathematical models of sonic booms from supersonic aeroplanes, as a member of SOBER, the Sonic Boom European Research Programme. SOBER was a multi-university, academia-industry consortium, coordinated by AIRBUS. Sonic boom research is still a hot research area since no civil supersonic carrier flew again after Concorde was terminated.
  • Modelling magnetic hyperthermia: magnetic hyperthermia is a minimally invasive cancer therapy, where an external magnet guides magnetic nanoparticles through the bloodstream to reach a tumour. The tumour is then burnt by elevating its temperature, while healthy cells remain, ideally, unaffected. Cancer modelling is a very active area of quantitative biology.

Business consulting: I have worked outside academia for three years, as a business consultant. At the Boston Consulting Group, we advised large companies, at CEO level, on strategic and operational issues, and as a technology transfer consultant at the HELP-FORWARD network (Enterprise Europe Network) I connected SMEs across Europe and also researchers with companies.

Industry-academia activities: I am a Management Committee member of the Mathematics for Industry Network (MI-NET, COST Action TD1409), an EU-funded of 32 country members that promotes the use of mathematics for solving industrial and societal challenges. I am also the leader of the “Case Studies” Working Group of MI-NET, where we are gathering and editing together successful collaborations between industry and mathematical modellers across Europe.

In 2016 I led the organization of the first Study Group with Industry in Cyprus, an intensive week-long, academia-industry workshop where mathematical modelling experts from 17 countries solved four Cypriot industrial challenges, ranging from improving bus routes in Nicosia to increasing the innovation factor of ENGINO toys. This 5-day workshop was followed by a half-day industry-academia workshop in October 2017. I am currently planning the next problem-solving workshop which will be on mathematical modelling of societal challenges. This will take place in Cyprus in early December 2018 (more details will be uploaded as they become available.)

Science communication activities: I am passionate about sharing maths and science with everybody and I have been involved in various science communication activities for more than a decade. Aside from being a co-founder of the Mediterranean Science Festival (the largest science festival in Cyprus - approximately 10K visitors) and of the non-profit organization SciCo Cyprus I have given several popularized talks to a wide range of audiences, including a TEDxNicosia talk. Audiovisual explanations of science fascinate me and I have worked on this TED-Ed animation on sonic booms which has been watched more than a million times until now.

Recent and upcoming speaking engagements

I am interested in supervising PhD students and in hosting visiting scientists in the areas of:

  • Mathematical Biology (in particular, calcium signalling in fertilization and embryogenesis)
  • Fluid Mechanics (in particular,  water modelling and magnetic targeting for bio applications)
  • Industrial mathematics (business and societal challenges that can be tackled with mathematical modelling and simulation)

Current supervision

Abhishek Chakraborty

Research student

Wasaif Alruwaele

Research student

Manal Alamoudi

Research student