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Prof Carlo Laing staff profile picture

Contact details +64 (09) 414 0800  ext. 43512

Prof Carlo Laing PhD, MSc, NZMS


School of Natural and Computational Sciences



  • Doctor of Philosophy - University of Cambridge (1998)
  • Master of Science - University of Auckland (1994)

Fellowships and Memberships

  • Member, New Zealand Mathematical Society (Fellow) (2016)

Prizes and Awards

  • New Zealand Mathematical Society Research Award - New Zealand Mathematical Society (2018)

Research Expertise

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Applied Mathematics (010200): Biological Mathematics (010202): Dynamical Systems in Applications (010204): Mathematical Sciences (010000): Numerical and Computational Mathematics (010300)

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 1 1

Current Projects

Project Title: Function from structure: accurate reduced models of neuronal networks

Date Range: 2018 - 2021

Funding Body: Royal Society of New Zealand

Project Team:

Completed Projects

Project Title: Complexity reduction in neural models

Mathematical models of biological systems provide understanding and predictive power. However, as more information about a particular system is collected, its model becomes increasingly complicated. This makes the models better, because they are becoming more realistic and therefore potentially more useful, but in turn they are becoming harder to simulate and analyse. The aim of this research is to overcome this problem by using recently-developed, so-called 'equation-free' techniques for the study of complex systems, concentrating on a variety of model neural networks. In particular we will study the respiratory neural system. This complex system regulates breathing by sending electrical signals to the diaphragm and other respiratory muscles, causing them to periodically contract and relax. Equation-free techniques allow one to automatically simplify a complex system such as the respiratory neural network by using judiciously designed computer simulations to capture the 'essence' of the original complex system in terms of the correct variables. This provides insights and understanding that cannot be found in any other way.
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Date Range: 2009 - 2012

Funding Body: Marsden Fund - Full

Project Team:

Research Outputs

Teaching and Supervision

Courses Coordinated

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Supervisor 2 1
Co-supervisor 0 3

Current Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • Christian Blasche - Doctor of Philosophy
    Dimension reduction for neural networks
  • Sidra Zafar - Doctor of Philosophy
    Equation-free investigations of heterogeneous networks.

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • 2008 - Amanda Elvin - Doctor of Philosophy
    Pattern formation in a neural field model

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2017 - Karen McCulloch - Doctor of Philosophy
    An Analytical Approach to Modelling Epidemics on Networks
  • 2013 - Samuel Dillon - Doctor of Philosophy
    Resolving Decomposition By Blowing Up Points And Quasiconformal Harmonic Extensions
  • 2010 - Maarten McKubre - Jordens - Doctor of Philosophy
    Minimising weighted mean distortion

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