The MAGPIE Group

Caroline Colijn

Caroline Colijn works at the interface of mathematics, evolution, infection and public health. She joined SFU's Mathematics Department in 2018 as a Canada 150 Research Chair in Mathematics for Infection, Evolution and Public Health. She did her PhD in applied mathematics at the University of Waterloo, where she studied the foundations of quantum mechanics. She changed tack in her postdoctoral years, working on mathematical modelling with Prof. Michael Mackey at McGill and on TB modelling and epidemiology in Megan Murray's group at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Broad Institute at MIT. She moved to the Department of Engineering Mathematics in Bristol, England in 2007 and joined Imperial College London's Department of Mathematics in 2011. She has broad interests in applications of mathematics to questions in evolution and public health, and was a founding member of Imperial's Centre for the Mathematics of Precision Healthcare. Contact

Maryam Hayati

Maryam received her Bachelor and Master from the University of Tehran, and Sharif University of Technology respectively and she recently completed her Ph.D. in the computing science department at Simon Fraser University. Her research interests lie in the area of computational biology and machine learning. Her research mainly focuses on phylodynamics and applying machine learning methods to predict the growth of infectious disease.

Jessica Stockdale

Jessica is a post doc with interests in mathematical and statistical modelling of infectious disease outbreaks, particularly using genomic data. Before moving to SFU in October 2018, she completed her PhD at the University of Nottingham, UK, working on Bayesian computational methods for stochastic epidemics. Her current projects focus on modelling of pathogen genomic data to better understand transmission and evolution, and predict future infection.

Priscila Do Nascimento Biller

Priscila received her Bachelor, Master, and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Campinas, Brazil. She has been working as a computational biologist, building on mathematical concepts to develop new models geared towards understanding natural evolution phenomena. During her Ph.D. she studied statistical and combinatorial problems related to the evolution by genome rearrangements, advised by Dr. João Meidanis. Later she did a postdoc at INRIA Grenoble Rhône-Alpes, France, under the supervision of Dr. Eric Tannier, working on an experimental validation of computational evolvability, a framework derived from machine learning with the purpose of providing a theoretical assessment of the time-scale required to evolve a certain class of functions. Currently she is interested in birth–death processes for generating phylogenetic trees with a potential application in the context of evolution of pathogens. Priscila is now working remotely from Okinawa, Japan.

Pengyu (Peter) Liu

Pengyu is a post doc whose research interests lie in the fields of topology, combinatorics and their applications in biology, physics and other sciences. Current projects include tree metrics and topology and their applications in phylogenetics and infectious diseases, knots and links and their invariants and the topology of the kinetoplast DNA networks.


Nicola Mulberry

Nicola is a PhD student in the Applied Mathematics program at SFU. Her interests are in mathematical modelling and computing with applications to public health. She is currently interested in the evolution of co-circulating pathogens. Nicola is also involved in an ongoing project to develop and promote open educational resources for undergraduate math students.

Kurnia Susvitasari

Kurnia is a PhD student in the Department of Mathematics, currently enrolled in the Applied Mathematics program. Her research interest is in statistical methods to understand infectious disease outbreaks using genomic data. She is currently working to understand cluster outbreaks using logistic regression.

Matthew Gould

Matthew is an undergraduate computer engineering student with an interest in how software can be best utilized in interdisciplinary fields. Currently his co-op has involved software projects based on tree metrics and interactive visualizations.

Vijay Naidu

Vijay is a post doc with interests in sequence alignment, protein modelling and phylogenetic analysis and in the field of genomics, cybersecurity and image processing. Before moving to SFU in June 2019, he completed his PhD at the Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand, working on identifying polymorphic malware variants using biosequence analysis techniques, under the supervision of Prof. Ajit Narayanan. His current research with Prof. Caroline Colijn focuses on the epidemiological analysis of tuberculosis transmission using bioinformatics pipeline.



Aniket Mane

Aniket is a PhD student in the Operations Research program at SFU. His interests primarily lie in the fields of discrete mathematics, combinatorial optimization. He works on designing optimization-based techniques to address questions posed in bioinformatics. His current project involves the assembly of plasmids using mixed integer linear programming.

Niloufar Abhari

Niloufar is a Ph.D. student in the Mathematics Department and a member of INS (Individualized Interdisciplinary Studies) Program at SFU. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics and a master’s degree in Computer Science. During her master’s, she was a member of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Lab at University of Tehran, Iran, working on imputation methods on sparse single-cell data and constructing Phylogenetic Trees on tumor data. Currently she is interested in Constructing and Inferring Phylogenetic Networks from binary trees and ordination in reduced space (or dimension reduction techniques) for biodiversity measures.

Madi Yerlanov

Madi is a MSc student in the Mathematics program at SFU. His main research interest lies in advancing algebra and applying it to biology, ecology and similar sciences, in particular, epidemiology. He is also interested in other unrepresented parts of (pure) mathematics that can be used to address real-life problems. He is currently searching for his future research topic in above mentioned fields.

Omid Geysar

Omid is a Ph.D. student in the Mathematics Department. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics and a master’s degree in Operation Research from the University of Tabriz. Experienced in interdisciplinary works, his research interest lies in linking molecular studies of the pathogen genome to epidemiological information. Currently, he is designing an app for Covid-19 simulation.

Yexuan Song

Yexuan is a MSc student in the Mathematics program at SFU. He is interested in disease modelling as well as applying theoretical mathematics to real-life questions. Right now he is trying to explore the field of biomathematics for his future research.

Lisa McQuarrie

As Lab Manager, Lisa has a number of roles within the MAGPIE Research Group. Lisa is a MSc student in Statistics, researching biostatistics, and her passion for combining statistics and health science led her to this role.