Quantitative biology research

The quantitative biology group at Massey University's Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences is research-active, and takes a multi-disciplinary approach to its work. Quantitative biology sits at the interface of biology, physics, maths and statistics and addresses the needs of modern biology.

Making movies out of molecules

Massey's quantitative biology group is doing leading-edge work in computer simulation of protein dynamics, which has applications for fields like cancer research.

The work, by award-winning researcher Jane Allison is developing and applying computational methods for exploring the conformational dynamics of proteins.

Areas of expertise



Bioinformatics involves storage, retrieval and analysis of data. We use techniques from other sciences such as computer science and statistics to decipher large biological systems such as DNA, RNA and chromatin information.

Biomolecular simulation

Biomolecular simulation

Molecular dynamics simulations provide a means of investigating how molecules move. This simulation can reveal the mechanisms underlying biologically important processes including the function of biological macromolecules, and their misfolding and malfunction, which are often linked to disease.



Statistics is extremely important in genetics and human health. We develop and implement statistical methods for applications in the biological, ecological and health sciences, with expertise in linear and logistic regression, bioinformatics, medical, statistics and nutrition. 

Metabolic modelling

Metabolic modelling

The process of transforming resources into biomass often involves hundreds of biochemical reactions. We develop mathematical and computational methods to describe this complex process.

Complex biological networks

Complex biological networks

We bring together approaches from molecular, computational and evolutionary biology to understand how the networks in cellular processes function, and how changes at the molecular level translate into changes at the cellular and organismal level.

Mathematical epidemiology

Mathematical epidemiology and physiology

We design and optimise strategies for infection control. Computational neuroscience research includes the dynamics of neural field equations, binocular rivalry, neuronal bursting, and neural control of the cardio-respiratory system.

Research and projects

Examples of projects from some of the quantitative biology group at Massey University.

Take it from the birds

Mathematical modelling of avian respiratory systems may lead to development of new ways to deal with human respiratory disease.

Predicting research validity

Researchers have demonstrated the same principles applied to betting on sports events can be useful for determining the reliability of a scientific study.


  • Distinguished Professor Marti Anderson

    Distinguished Professor Marti Anderson

    Chair in Statistics - New Zealand Institute for Advanced Study


Our people working in this area

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