I’ve been a PhD student since September 2010, after completing an associated MRes (Masters in Research). The full 4-year course is at the Centre for Mathematics and Physics in the Life Sciences and Experimental Biology (CoMPLEX), in University College, London (UCL), funded by the EPSRC and British Heart Foundation. The research takes an interdisciplinary approach, bringing together scientists from a range of different fields as well as mathematicians, statisticians and engineers.

My own undergraduate degree is in Mathematics from Magdalene College, Cambridge. I became interested in the applied side of Mathematics towards the end of my course, and went on to do an MSc in Mathematical Modelling at UCL, before embarking on my current programme.

My particular interest is in Neuroscience. A little more specifically, (and for the interested reader), my summer project looks at changes in the structure of EEG-EMG coherence during brain development. Recent research indicates the presence of fluctuations in brain activity during resting states. The dynamics of this activity is important for understanding normal and irregular brain function and development, and, interestingly, it has been shown to exhibit correlations at multiple scales, thus implicating the involvement of scale free processes. One aspect of my project has involved the application of correlation measures such as coherence, phase synchrony, and multi-wavelet analysis to resting state data. This was followed by application of de-trended fluctuation analysis to data sets to explore the presence of said scale free dynamics. I am also modelling the underlying chemical and biological processes, in order to obtain a better understanding of the mechanisms behind these dynamics.

This year, however, has covered an incredibly broad range of topics, and I apologise in advance for the number of sea creatures featured!

Contact: m.botcharova [at] ucl.ac.uk


1st November 2010