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Mattia Serra

PhD Institution: ETH Zurich Class: 2018 Fellow Postdoctoral institution and lab:

The Applied Math Lab, Harvard University

Specialism: Nonlinear Dynamics

Mattia develops mathematical techniques to understand turbulent and unpredictable change in the world. He completed his PhD in nonlinear dynamics at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, having previously studied in his home country, Italy, China, and the Netherlands. As a Schmidt Science Fellow, Mattia is working with L. Mahadevan at Harvard to switch his mathematical modeling from physical systems to biological systems, including human embryonic development.

Mattia’s mathematical models have already proven their value in collaborations with organizations such as MIT and the US Coastguard, where uncovering coherent attractors and eddies in the ocean can help to direct search and rescue operations. He is now applying this knowledge to complex biological systems and the modeling of cell flows during early development of growing embryos. The work has the potential to better understand and predict the evolution and growth of the neural tube and brain development, as well as uncover the driving mechanisms behind embryogenesis.