logo Justin Tzou

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  • BASc, Engineering Physics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2007
  • PhD, Applied Mathematics, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA, 2012

  • Position: Lecturer, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  • Office: E7A-12 Wally's Walk 713
  • Phone: +61 2 9850 8925
  • Email: justin dot tzou at mq dot edu dot au   OR   tzou dot justin at gmail dot com  
  • CV  |  Research statement  |  Full publications list  |  Research highlights

  • Research Interests: reaction-diffusion systems; pattern formation; homoclinic snaking; singular perturbations; localized solutions; matched asymptotic methods; first passage processes and narrow escape problems; applications to vegetation patterns, cellular biology, and ecological processes

  • Current funding: Australian Research Council DP220101808 (co-CI with Leo Tzou, University of Sydney) Microlocal Analysis - A Unified Approach for Geometric Models in Biology; $405,000 over 3 years

Research highlights

(see here for full publications list)
The research is aimed at obtaining quantitative descriptions and critical thresholds of diffusive processes. One area of focus is mean first passage time problems in the presence of small absorbing traps (the narrow capture problem). A particular new direction of work is that in which the small traps are mobile, a scenario that arises in cellular processes and autonomous search. Challenges include not only how to derive the correct PDE for such problems, but how to solve them using asymptotic and/or numerical methods. A critical question is under which condition(s) a mobile trap becomes more effective than a stationary one. The other major area of focus is the stability and dynamics of patterns in reaction-diffusion systems in one, two, and three spatial dimensions, both near and far from the linear regime. Here, asymptotic and numerical continuation techniques are used to construct and characterize steady-state patterns. Through a combination of analytic and numerical methods, critical thresholds are obtained for various types of instabilities. The overarching themes are the techniques of analysis used (asymptotic methods, PDE techniques, numerical and continuation methods, Monte Carlo simulations), and that quantitative results yielded by the analysis often lead to rich qualitative pictures of the underlying phenomena.

1. First passage times: mobile traps, narrow capture problems, and full distributions

2. Patterns in reaction-diffusion systems: stability, dynamics, and delayed bifurcations