The 2018 JH Michell Medal

The J.H. Michell Medal has been awarded since 1999 to an outstanding new researcher who has carried out distinguished research in applied or industrial mathematics.

The J.H. Michell Medal Committee for 2018 is unanimous in recommending that the 2018 J.H. Michell Medal be awarded to Associate Professor Claire Postlethwaite from the University of Auckland. Claire's research focusses on dynamical systems, where she has made important contribution to a wide range of areas including: heteroclinic cycles and networks; time-delayed feedback control; delay-differential equations; coupled cell dynamics; noise-induced dynamics; and bifurcations.

2018 Michell Medal
(Photo Credit: University of Auckland)

Claire is an internationally-leading researcher on the analysis and bifurcation of heteroclinic networks and has identified the use of these networks in applications across a huge range of fields. To name but two, she is working on the electrical activity of the brain (through analysis of EEG data) and on learning processes within the field of evolutionary robotics.

Claire completed her undergraduate and postgraduate education at the University of Cambridge: BA in Mathematics in 2001, part III of the Mathematical Tripos (2002) and a PhD in Applied Mathematics (2006). After two years of postdoctoral fellowships in the USA, at Northwestern University and the University of Houston, she joined the University of Auckland as a lecturer in 2008, becoming a senior lecturer in 2011 and an associate professor in 2017.

The strength of Claire's research has been recognised by the award of the New Zealand Mathematics Society Early Career Award for Mathematical Research (2011) and the University of Auckland's Early Career Research Excellence Award (2013). More recently she has been awarded a grant from the Royal Society of New Zealand fund for the project 'Noisy networks: understanding how stochasticity affects mathematical models of cognitive systems'.

The committee regards Associate Professor Claire Postlethwaite as an outstanding early career researcher and as a worthy recipient of the 2018 J.H. Michell Medal. Congratulations Claire.

A/Prof Mark Nelson (Chair)
A/Prof Yvonne Stokes
Prof Scott McCue

Updated: 08 Apr 2019