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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 Next Steps: Swiss National Foundation Postdoc Mobility Fellowship at Harvard University

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 worked with L. Mahadevan at Harvard to switch his mathematical modeling from physical systems to biological systems, including human embryonic development. He now continues his work at Harvard as a Swiss National Foundation Postdoc Mobility Fellow.

Mattia’s mathematical models have already proven their value in collaborations with organizations such as MIT and the US Coastguard, where uncovering coherent attractors in the ocean can help to direct search and rescue operations. As a Schmidt Science Fellow, he applied this knowledge to complex biological systems and the modeling of cell flows during the early development of growing embryos. The work has the potential to better understand embryonic development, detect pathological embryos early, as well as uncover the driving mechanisms behind embryogenesis.

As part of our We are Schmidt Science Fellows film series, watch Mattia’s video and read his feature – Organizing Chaos – Using maths to identify coherency in chaotic systems here.