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Professor Alison Etheridge

My research

Much of my research lies at the exciting interface between mathematics and population genetics, particularly modelling populations that live in spatial continua. This is a very old topic, but presents an unexpected mathematical challenge, often dubbed `the pain in the torus'.  Our resolution of this has led to a new class of models, of intrinsic mathematical interest. Working at an interface of two disciplines is deeply rewarding: I am drawn by the beauty of the mathematical structures and the intuition gained from the biological application is invaluable in unravelling them.  Moreover, we keep uncovering connections with other areas, from statistical physics to image analysis.

My journey

It took us so long to solve the two-body problem that Lionel and I had established careers before we had children.  With no grandparents available, we have spent a lot on childcare. Both children started nursery at three months and we have used au pairs, babysitters and holiday play schemes to fill in gaps. Since Charlotte was born, almost all my work has been in collaboration. Because others are depending on me, I can't let research slip, but it is also fun. Collaborators visited me when I couldn't travel. Crucially, Lionel and the children have always been extremely supportive (and tolerant).