The MAGPIE research group studies the dynamics of diverse interacting pathogens. We are building tools to use pathogen genomic data to help us understand transmission patterns. We develop novel approaches to analyze and compare phylogenetic trees. We develop and test ecological and epidemiological models.

We draw on tools from across mathematics and statistics, including ordinary differential equation models, stochastic “individual-based” models, branching processes, probability and optimization, Bayesian inference, Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling, and machine learning. Our researchers have diverse backgrounds, primarily in mathematics, but also in statistics, quantitative biology and computer science.We also support public health with pandemic modelling alongside our own research. Our work involves case forecasting, parameter estimation, understanding the impact of rapid testing and other measures, genomic epidemiology and other topics in COVID-19 and other respiratory infections.

We are situated in the mathematics department at SFU. To apply to join us as a graduate student, please see apply to the department, mentioning the MAGPIE group in your application. You do not need a formal biology background to join our group, but a curiosity and enthusiasm for research in our areas will be very helpful.

In The Media

  • May 17, 2021

    Simon Fraser University mathematics professor Caroline Colijn will co-lead a new, national infectious disease modeling network that will inform decisions related to public health threats and better prepare Canada for future pandemics.

  • May 14, 2021

    MAGPIE Director and Canada 150 Research Chair, Caroline Colijn, was announced as a recipient of the Radio Canada Scientist of the Year prize for 2020 alongside three other mathematicians for her work to model the impact of physical distancing on the infection curve in British Columbia.


Spike Mutation Profiles Associated With SARS-CoV-2 Breakthrough Infections in Delta Emerging and Predominant Time Periods in British Columbia, Canada

July 2022

C.D. Fibke, Y. Joffres, J.R. Tyson, C. Colijn, N.Z. Janjua, C. Fjell, N. Prystajecky, A. Jassem, H. Sbihi. Frontiers in Public Health.

Mathematical modeling of COVID-19 in British Columbia: An age-structured model with time-dependent contact rates

April 2022

S.A. Iyaniwura, R.C. Falcão, N. Ringa, P.A. Adu, M. Spencer, M. Taylor, C. Colijn, D. Coombs, N.Z. Janjua, M.A. Irvine, M. Otterstatter. Epidemics.

Quantifying transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 and impact of intervention within long-term healthcare facilities

January 2022

J.E. Stockdale, S. Anderson, A. Edwards, S. Iyaniwura, N. Mulberry, M. Otterstatter, N.Z. Janjua, D. Coombs, C. Colijn, M. Irvine. Royal Society Open Science.