Dr Mauro Mobilia

Dr Mauro Mobilia


I obtained my PhD in Theoretical Physics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) in 2002 for a thesis on non-equilibrium statistical mechanics. From 2002 to 2005, I was a postdoctoral fellow at Boston University and Virginia Tech on a Research Fellowship of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). In 2005, I was awarded a Humboldt Research Fellowship that I held at the University of Munich (LMU) until 2007. I then worked as an Advanced Research Fellow at the Mathematics Institute and Centre for Complexity Science of the University of Warwick (2007-2009) on another SNSF fellowship. In June 2008, I accepted the offer of a faculty position at the University of Leeds. Since 2009, I am at the School of Mathematics of the University of Leeds where I am an associate professor in Applied Mathematics.

More about my academic profile: see my 2-page CV

I coordinate the School of Maths' Undergraduate Summer Bursary Scheme


  • Summer Bursary Scheme Coordinator (since 2013)
  • Organiser of the Maths-Bio-Medicine Seminar Series (2009-18)
  • Coordinator of the Applied Maths Postgraduate Seminar (2010-19)

Research interests

My current research is chiefly concerned with multidisciplinary applications of non-equilibrium statistical mechanics to problems of evolutionary dynamics and to complex systems in the life and behavioural sciences. Some important challenges in these areas concern the emergence of cooperative behaviour, the maintenance of biodiversity, the dynamics of cultural changes, and the self-organisation of mobile populations. In my research, mathematical modelling is usually at the individual-based level and leads to deal with stochastic many-body problems. These are tackled by using a combination of methods drawn from statistical physics, nonlinear dynamics and evolutionary game theory.

As examples of research outcomes, there is a series of works on 'rock-paper-scissors' games to study the self-organisation and biodiversity in cyclically competing populations; another series of papers on the effects of heterogeneities ('zealots') in models of opinion dynamics; and works on metastability and large fluctuations as well as the joint effects of demographic and environmental fluctuations. Recent research highlights concern the modelling of fluctuating populations subject to the coupling of demographic noise and environmental variability, inspired by the eco-evolutionary dynamics of microbial communities. These lines of investigation will be pursued and broadened in the three-year EPSRC-NSF funded project “Eco-Evolutionary Dynamics of Fluctuating Populations” (follow the link for an outline of this international collaborative project.)

More details and links to all my research papers, as well as some videos, can be found on my personal home page.

Possible PhD projects: see below and on my research web-page

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD (Dr. Sc. EPF)
  • MSc (Dipl. Phys. EPF)
  • FHEA (Fellow of the Higher Education Academy)

Professional memberships

  • Member of the U.K. Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) College
  • Fellow of The Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • Member of the American Physical Society
  • Member of the European Physical Society
  • Member of the international Complex Systems Society
  • Member of the Humboldt Foundation's Network of Fellows
  • Member of the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships Peer Review College

Student education

Teaching web page

Courses currently taught

Current PhD students:

  • Xiang Li (started in 2018, funded by Chinese Scholarship Council)
  • Leonardo Miele (started in 2017, NERC funded)

Former PhD students at Leeds:

  • Giacomo Baldo (2016-2021, UoL funded)
  • Robert West (2016-2020, EPSRC funded)
  • Fabio Peruzzo (2015-2019, NERC funded)
  • Alexander Murray (2018-2019, NERC funded)
  • Andrew Mellor (2013-2017, EPSRC CASE-KTN funded)
  • Maria Nowicka (2012-2018, EPSRC funded)
  • Bartosz Szczesny (2010-2014, EPSRC funded)

Research groups and institutes

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Mathematical Biology and Medicine
  • Applied Nonlinear Dynamics
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/198-stochastic-evolution-of-populations-in-fluctuating-environments">Stochastic Evolution of Populations in Fluctuating Environments</a></li>