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Katerina Kaouri

Dr Katerina Kaouri

Reader (Associate Professor)

School of Mathematics

+44 29208 75259
Abacws, Room 5.03, Senghennydd Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF24 4AG
Media commentator
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a Reader (Associate Professor) in Applied Mathematics and the departmental Director for Impact and Engagement. In my research I use modelling to solve cutting-edge challenges in biology, engineering, physics, businesses and society. My main research focus is mathematical and computational biology. During the COVID-19 pandemic I have been intensively working on developing models of airborne transmission in indoor spaces, in collaboration with the University of Oxford and with funding from the Welsh government; I now actively continue working on creating tools for future epidemics. I have also been working on models for IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) and for embryogenesis, focusing on the interplay of calcium signalling with cellular mechanics and lead the inFer academia-clinic, interdisciplinary GW4 network where we aim to improve IVF's success rates.

I have been involved in several industry-academia research projects over the years. I have initiated and coordinated a European Study Group with Industry in Cyprus, in 2016 (ESGI125) and in 2018 (ESGI146). From 2015-2019 I was a core member in the EU-funded  Mathematics for Industry Network (32 countries) and I continue to be actively involved in European industrial Maths activities. From 2017-2020 I was also a core member of the H2020 project where 18 organisations in 12 countries worked closely with society on solving pressing societal challenges.

I have also been engaged in several science communication and outreach activities as a communicator or organizer. I have co-founded the Mediterranean Science Festival in Cyprus and the non-profit organisation SciCo Cyprus. As a TEDx speaker I talked about `Rethinking maths' and I have created a TED Ed video on the modelling of sonic booms (5 million views). In Cardiff, I have initiated the Maths Adventures Day and the Maths for Industry Day. I always welcome invitations to give popularised talks to schools and other venues as well as other ideas for collaboration on public engagement, citizen science and community-based participatory research.


  • Jan 2024: We welcome Dr Yidan Xue as a postdoc on the Impact Acceleration Account grant "Creating a state-of-the-art epidemic simulator"! We are creating a web app for policymakers and the public.
  • Nov 23: Delighted to be one of the three finalists in this year's Cardiff Celebrating Excellence awards for our research on epidemics and informing policymaking (category: Innovation and Enterprise) (With Thomas Woolley and Josh Moore)
  • 22 Nov 2023: Today I am a special guest at Jo Durrant's Beautiful Universe podcast where we have a great chat about what drew me into maths and some projects I am passionate about! 
  • Oct 2023: We welcome Dr Jayathilake Pahala Gedara as a postdoc on the Impact Acceleration Account grant "Creating a state-of-the-art epidemic simulator"!
  • Oct 2023: We welcome Neha Bansal to the group as a new PhD student! Neha is funded by the OneZoo CDT (Centre for Doctoral Training) which tackles zoonotic diseases and works on preparing tools for future epidemics.
  • PhD position on IVF modelling! Apply until 1st November 2023. 
  • PDRA post open! Apply until 1st August 2023, to work on mathematical models and an app to inform policymaking for future epidemics. 
  • Outstanding Contribution Award, Cardiff University, 2022
  • PhD studentship, funded through the OneZoo CDT on zoonotic viruses. "Modelling non-pharmaceutical interventions in enclosed spaces" (Deadline: 01/05/2023-now closed).
  • PhD studentship, funded through the GW4 BioMed Doctoral Training Programme (Deadline: 02/11/22-now closed). "Creating a new non-diagnostic tool for In-Vitro Fertilization through mathematical modelling and data analysis." 
  • 28 June 2022: At the Industrial Mathematics in the 21st Century at the University of Oxford (Retirement event for Prof Colin Please), giving a talk on airborne transmission of viruses.
  • I have been invited to give a Cockcroft-Walton lecture this year by the Institute of Physics and the Indian Physics Association (02/08/2022). I will also chair a panel with leading experts on COVID-19 on 03/08/22.
  • Our new paper on modelling the airborne transmission of viruses is out! We have developed a quick-to-run model to determine  the spatiotemporal infection risk indoors.
  • PDRA POST-APPLY BY 26/11 (now closed): COVID-19 modelling with focus on air purifiers and educational settings in order to generate policy recommendations. Starting date: latest 1 Feb. 4 months or can be also offered part-time. Contact me for an informal chat. Advert:
  • Upcoming Seminars (updated 14/11/21): Warwick (17/11), Birmingham (29/11), University of Belgrade (8/12), Leiden University (8/12)
  • New paper on optimising processes in freezing embryo or eggs in IVF. Led by Tim Oster and in collaboration with Thomas Woolley, Karl Swann and embryologists at the London Women's Clinic (co-funding Tim's PhD) and elsewhere.
  • Apr-July 2021: Invited to give talks on our COVID-19 aerosol transmission models. Very interesting discussions with scientists from many disciplines on how to tackle the pandemic.
  • March 2021: Nominated for Woman of the Year in the category "Innovation" in Cyprus (Madame Figaro awards). Excited!
  • Feb 2021: I have joined the Environmental subgroup of the Technical Advisory Group of the Welsh government, which advises the government on the pandemic.
  • Feb 2021: excited to be invited as one of the judges in the FameLab Cardiff Heat (embedded for the first time in the Cardiff Science Festival)
  • Feb 2021: PDRAs Dr Raquel Gonzalez Farina and Dr Xander Ramage are joining today the COVID-19 project, funded by the Welsh government. Welcome Raquel and Xander!
  • Nov 2020: Postdoc posts available asap through a new grant from the Welsh government (Ser Cymru COVID-19 call) to model indoors transmission of COVID-19 and the efficacy of antiviral coatings. In collaboration with Prof Ian Griffiths at Oxford and Smart Separations Ltd. (now closed).  
  • 23 Nov 2020: We welcome Dr Aaron English who has just joined our COVID-19 project on modelling airborne transmission in indoor spaces as a PDRA
  • Oct 2020: New grant! "Mathematical modelling and smart coatings: fighting the COVID-19 pandemic" funded by the Welsh Government (COVID-19 call). With: coIs Prof Ian Griffiths at Oxford Mathematics and Smart Separations Ltd
  • COST has recognised European Study Groups with Industry as a success story for academia-industry exchanges across Europe. See this story in the Annual Report, based on an interview with me.
  • Feb-June 2020: Anastasios Koulogiannis is visiting the group from École des Ponts ParisTech/National Technical University of Athens, until July. Welcome Anestis!
  • Nov 2019: I have been voted Vice-President of the Parallel Parliament for "Research, Innovation and Digital Transformation" in Cyprus.
  • Outstanding contribution award, Cardiff University, 2019
  • 4 October 2019: I am at the Cyprus Parliament today as a speaker at the workshop "Diversity and inclusion in the era of AI"  (conference on Industry 4.0)
  • 1 Feb 2019: Claudia Fanelli is visiting us from Centre de Recerca Matemàtica in Barcelona where she is pursuing her PhD with Prof Tim Myers, until the end of April. Welcome Claudia!
  • 25 Jan and 18 Mar 2019: I was invited to the Cypriot TV Show "Thekla milame anoikta" (SIGMA channel) where we discussed the diverse applications of Maths in our lives, and science communication.
  • 7 Dec 2018: The 146th European Study Group with Industry has now finished! ESGI146 was the 2nd Study Group with Industry in Cyprus  (I was the lead organiser). It brought together 37 researchers from 10 countries who tackled for a week, in teams, three real-life challenges with societal impact.
















  • Choumilina, A., Fernandez, J., Kaouri, K., Reinhardt, V., Sampo, J. and Weber, T. 2001. Rocket propulsion. Presented at: 15th ECMI Modelling Week, Klagenfurt, Austria, 1-8 Sept 2001.
  • Kaouri, K. and Allwright, D. J. 2001. Sharpening images: from optics to acoustics. Project Report. Oxford: University of Oxford.






Research Interests

Deterministic and stochastic modelling in biology, engineering, and physics, business and society. Focus: Mathematical and Computational Biology (models of airborne viral transmission, fertilization and embryogenesis, calcium signalling, mechanochemical coupling). Also: Fluid Mechanics; Industrial Mathematics; Asymptotic methods.

Mathematical/Computational Biology projects:

  • Mechanochemical models of intracellular and intercellular calcium signalling, which take into account the coupling of calcium to the mechanical behavior of the cells and tissue. This mechanochemical coupling plays a crucial role in many body processes and diseases, for example embryogenesis, wound healing, atherosclerosis and cancer. Collaborators: Prof. Philip Maini (Oxford University) Prof. Jon Chapman (Oxford University), Dr Paris Skourides & Dr Neophytos Christodoulou (University of Cyprus, Biosciences), Dr Ricardo Ruiz-Baier (Monash University), Prof. Lance Davidson (MechMorpho lab, Pittsburgh University). See a recent paper. PhD student: Abhishek Chakraborty
  • Calcium signalling in fertilization (optimal IVF protocols).  We model and simulate calcium signals in mouse and in human eggs in order to elucidate the conditions of successful In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). It has been shown in recent experiments that the amplitude and frequency of calcium oscillations directly correlate with fertilization success and we are building the first related model. In collaboration with: Prof. Karl Swann, Chair of Reproductive Biology (Cardiff Biosciences) and Dr Thomas Woolley (Cardiff). Students: Layla Namaghi Sadeghi (MPhil, completed), Bryony Bennett, Luke Heirene, Oliver Griffiths (MMath, completed)
  • Data analysis and computational modelling of embryo growth rate and other metrics of success in IVF (in collaboration with the London Women’s Clinic). A key factor for success during an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle is embryo selection. This involves predicting which embryo is most likely to give a viable pregnancy. Current methods such as time-lapse imaging of cell cycles, or metabolic profiling, are respectively unproven or difficult to implement.  We concentrate on cryogenically preserved embryos, which are warmed up and replaced into the uterus after being assessed by the embryologist to have a good chance for pregnancy. LWC have large amounts of data regarding time-lapse image stacks of cells before embryo transfer. The embryologists are highly trained to interpret these image sequences but training personnel to such standards is a slow process. Also, the metrics to assess potential success are not clear. We are developing a sophisticated, user-friendly image segmentation software that will simultaneously extract multiple features of a thawing embryo and identify the best metrics for embryo success. In collaboration with: Dr Thomas Woolley (Cardiff), Helen Priddle (LWC) and Giles Palmer. PhD student: Tim Ostler
  • Calcium signalling in cancer: Calcium signalling has been shown recently to play a significant role in the evolution of cancer. We are developing spatiotemporal deterministic models, informed by experiments and investigate the role of calcium signals in cancer, with the aim to inform new therapies. In collaboration with: Dr Ruediger Thul (Nottingham). Dr Andreas Buttenschön (University of British Columbia) and Dr Vasiliki Bitsouni. See preprint in the arxiv.
  • Stochastic modelling of intracellular calcium signals. Calcium is an ubiquitous second messenger that communicates important information across the cell. Noise plays a crucial role in the information transfer and many questions are still open. I am currently working on two projects:
    • Comparison of two deterministic and stochastic models for calcium oscillations. In collaboration wtih Dr Thomas Woolley. MMath student: Ali Tariq 
    • Decoding of noisy calcium signals by proteins, in collaboration with Dr Ruediger Thul (University of Nottingham). Visiting research student: Anastasios Koulogiannis
  • Magnetic targeting: In magnetic targeting drugs are attached to magnetic particles and are directed to a specific part of the human body using a magnetic field. We model various scenarios and perform simulations of blood flow and particle movement. We also the blood is a non-Newtonian fluid. With: Prof. Tim Phillips (Cardiff), Claudia Fanelli & Prof. Tim Myers (CRM, Barcelona).

Please contact me if you are interested in working on any of the above challenges

Other research projects:

I have worked on various other projects over the years. Some key projects are highlighted below:

  • Sonic boom modelling: In my DPhil research (University of Oxford) I have developed mathematical models of sonic booms generated by supersonic aeroplanes, as a member of SOBER, the Sonic Boom European Research Programme. SOBER was a multi-university, academia-industry consortium, coordinated by AIRBUS. Sonic boom research is still a hot research area since no civil supersonic carrier flew again after Concorde was terminated. See my DPhil thesis and also related papers here, here and here.
  • Water resources management: In the context of the 1st Study Group with Industry we collaborated with the Cyprus Water Development Department, the governmental organisation managing water resources.  Together with an international team of modellers (Raka Mondal, Graham Benham, Sourav Mondal and others) we modelled the water in and out of the Germasogeia aquifer and proposed an optimal recharge protocol. Read our paper here.
  • Modelling magnetic hyperthermia: magnetic hyperthermia is a minimally invasive cancer therapy, where an external magnet guides magnetic nanoparticles through the bloodstream to reach a tumour. The tumour is then burnt by elevating its temperature, while healthy cells remain, ideally, unaffected. Cancer modelling is a very active area of quantitative biology. See related paper here.
  • Fluid flow in optical fibers: With Dr Paul Christodoulides at the Cyprus University of Technology  (CUT) we have co-supervised a MSc student on this project (2018). We aim to link the developed models to experiments on optical fibers at the Kallis lab (CUT). See related abstract here.

Business consulting: From 2007-2010 have worked outside academia as a business consultant. At the Boston Consulting Group, we advised large companies, at CEO level, on strategic and operational issues. As a technology transfer consultant at the HELP-FORWARD network (Enterprise Europe Network) I connected SMEs across Europe and researchers with companies.

Industry-academia activities: From 2015-19 I was a Management Committee member of the Mathematics for Industry Network (MI-NET, COST Action TD1409), an EU-funded of 32 country members that promoted the use of mathematics for solving industrial and societal challenges. I was also the leader of the “Case Studies” Working Group of MI-NET. We gathered and edited 21 successful case studies from across Europe. You can read the booklet here.

In 2016 I led the organization of the 1st Study Group with Industry in Cyprus, an academia-industry workshop where mathematical modelling experts from 17 countries solved four Cypriot industrial challenges, ranging from improving bus routes in Nicosia to increasing the innovation factor of ENGINO toys. This 5-day workshop was followed by a half-day industry-academia workshop in October 2017. The second Study Group with Industry in Cyprus took place in December 2018 and it was also a co-creation event with society. 37 researchers from 10 countries worked on three societal challenges.

Science communication activities: I am passionate about sharing maths and science with everybody and I have been involved in various science communication activities for more than a decade. Aside from being a co-founder of the Mediterranean Science Festival and of the non-profit organization SciCo Cyprus I have given several popularized talks to a wide range of audiences, including a TEDx talk.  Science commmunication videos fascinate me and I have worked on this TED-Ed animation on sonic booms (2.8+ million views).

Recent and upcoming speaking engagements


I teach the following courses:

  • MA3305 - Fluid Mechanics (3rd-year course)
  • MA4003 - Theoretical Fluid Mechanics (MMath course with consists of advanced topics in Fluid Mechanics)

I currently supervise the following students on research projects:

  • Abhishek Chakraborty (PhD student, with Prof. T.N. Phillips). External supervisors: Profs P.K. Maini & R. Baker (Oxford)
  • Tim Ostler (PhD student, with Dr T.E. Woolley, Prof Karl Swann and A. Thomson at the London Women's Clinic)
  • Layla Namaghi Sadeghi (MPhil research student, with Dr T. .E. Woolley and Prof. K. Swann)
  • Emma Dobson (MMath student)
  • Luke Heirene (MMath student, with Dr T.E. Woolley)


  • Abhishek Chakraborty (MPhil) - Oct 2020 
  • MSc dissertations: Zechariah Lau (Oct 2020), Levi Anozie (Oct 2020), Christia Nearchou (Sep 2020), Jay Kishan (Nov 2020, MSc Data Science, with Dr A. Artemiou)
  • Ali Tariq (MMath student), June 2020
  • Jaime Garcia Gonzalez (MMath student) - June 2019
  • Anastasios Koulogiannis (visiting researcher from Ecole de Ponts ParisTech, Feb-July 2020)


Work experience

  • Senior Lecturer in Applied Mathematics, School of Mathematics, Cardiff University, UK (Aug 2020-currently)
  • Lecturer in Applied Mathematics, School of Mathematics, Cardiff University, UK (Jan 2018-July 2020)
  • Co-Founder and Director of the non-profit SciCo Cyprus, Cyprus (2015-)
  • Research Fellow, Department of Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering and Informatics, Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus (2016-2017)
  • Expert Scientist, Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus (2015-17)
  • Assistant Professor, Intercollege Limassol (2010-2015)
  • Strategy and business consultant (2007-2010) (Boston Consulting Group, HELP-FORWARD Network)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Mathematical Medicine and Biology, Nottingham University (2005-2007)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Oxford Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics & Wolfson Centre for Mathematical Biology, Oxford University (2004-2005)


  • DPhil in Applied Mathematics, University of Oxford (fully funded by the Sonic Boom European Research Programme)
  • MSc in Mathematical Modelling and Scientific Computing, Oxford University (top Distinction)
  • MS in Applied Physics, Columbia University (fully funded by a university award)
  • BA in Pure and Applied Mathematics, University of Cambridge (full-cost Cambridge Commonwealth Scholarship)

Selected grants

  • Welsh government COVID-19 grant (Role: PI) Nov 2020-May 2021. In collaboration with Prof Ian Griffiths at the University of Oxford and Smart Separations Ltd. Supervised 3 PDRAs and one research assistant.
  • KESS2 acadmia-industry grant in collaboration with the London Women's Clinic (Role: PI) (2019-2022)
  •, H2020 project (RIA, Science with and for Society) - €101K (Role: Project leader, SciCo Cyprus). Total EU budget: €3 million. 18 partners in 12 countries. Identification and solution of 250 societal challenges across Europe through community-based research
  • Grants and sponsorships for the organisation of the 146th European Study Group with Industry (2nd Study Group with Industry in Cyprus) - €30K. Funding bodies: Mathematics for Industry Network (major contributor),, KPMG Cyprus (strategic partner), ExxonMobil, University of Cyprus, CY Research Promotion Foundation, Cyprus Tourism Organisation, British High Commission in Cyprus
  • Grants and sponsorships for the organisation of the 125th European Study Group with Industry (1st Study Group with Industry in Cyprus, 2016) - €37K. (Role: Principal applicant) Funding bodies: Mathematics for Industry Network (major contributor), KPMG Cyprus (major sponsor), Cyprus University of Technology, University of Cyprus, CY Research Promotion Foundation, Cyprus Tourism Organisation, British High Commission in Cyprus
  • Award for the organisation of the industry-academia workshop in Cyprus (2017) - €1500 Euro (Role: Principal applicant) Funding bodies: Mathematics for Industry Network, British High Commission in Cyprus, Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Several awards for international research visits ~10K Euros Funding bodies: Mathematics for Industry Network (3 Short-Term Scientific Missions to Oxford University), ERASMUS+, Cyprus University of Technology
  • Fund-raising for the organisation of the Mediterranean Science Festival - ~50K Euros (Role: MSF Co-founder and co-director)
  • Scholarships for academic excellence throughout the course of studies - ~200K Euros
    • Cambridge University (full-cost scholarship for BA studies and ORS award for PhD studies - declined)
    • Columbia University (full-cost award for MS studies),
    • Oxford University (Alan Tayler Bursary for MSc studies and Somerville College graduate scholarship for DPhil studies)
    • Sonic Boom European Research Programme (full-cost scholarship for DPhil studies at Oxford University)
    • A.G.Leventis Foundation (educational grant for DPhil studies)

Honours and awards

Member of the Technical Advisory Group of the Welsh government (Environmental subgroup), advising the government on the pandemic

Judge for Famelab (science communication competition) at the 2019 semi-finals (invited by British Council)

Committees and reviewing

Member of the Impact Acceleration Committee of Cardiff University


I am interested in supervising PhD students and postdocs and in hosting visiting scientists in the areas of:

  • Mathematical and Computational Biology (in particular, calcium signalling in fertilization and embryogenesis)
  • Fluid Mechanics (in particular, magnetic targeting for bio applications and other biofluids challenges)
  • Industrial mathematics (business and societal challenges that can be tackled with mathematical modelling and simulation)

PhD and MPhil research students are found below.

Previous PDRAs:

Dr Attila Kovaks (currently at the University of Oxford)

Dr Raquel Gonzalez Farina (Senior Quantitative Analyst, Macquarie Group, Australia)

Dr Alexander Pretty(currently at Cardiff University as a Teaching Fellow)

Dr Aaron English (currently at the University of Parma)

Dr Vassiliki Bitsouni (currently at the University of Athens)

Current supervision

Abhishek Chakraborty

Abhishek Chakraborty

Research student

Timothy Ostler

Timothy Ostler

Research student

Neha Bansal

Neha Bansal

Research Student/Graduate Tutor