Group Members


Reader in Theoretical/Computational Condensed Matter Physics

PI: Tyler Shendruk

Tyler is a computational physicist who models flowing, soft matter and biophysical systems in the School of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh. Previously, he was Lecturer at Loughborough University, before which he was an Independent Fellow in the Center for Studies in Physics and Biology at Rockefeller University. During his time in the Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics at the University of Oxford working with Professor Julia Yeomans, he was an EMBO-Long Term Fellow, Research Associate in Wadham College and Non-stipendiary Junior Research Fellow in St. Hilda’s College. His PhD was with Professor Gary Slater at the University of Ottawa.

Post-doctoral Research Associate

Benjamín Loewe


Benjamín is a theoretical soft matter physicist, currently interested in the dynamics and emergent collective phenomena of active systems such as cellular tissues and active microtubule bundles. After pursuing BS and MS studies at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, he obtained his PhD. at the Georgia Institute of Technology under the tutelage of Paul Goldbart and held postdoctoral positions in the group of Cristina Marchetti at both Syracuse University and University of California, Santa Barbara. Outside of physics, he enjoys playing the cello and reading.

Post-doctoral Fellow

Kristian Thijssen


Kristian is a computational soft matter physicist interested in the dynamics of emergent collective phenomena and how those systems (e.g. bacteria colonies and cellular tissues) interact with reconfigurable surroundings. He obtained his BSc and MSc at the Eindhoven University of Technology, after which he did a PhD in theoretical physics under the tutelage of Julia Yeomans in Oxford. After holding a postdoctoral position in the group of Robert Jack in Cambridge, he joined the NBI Copenhagen with a Marie-Curie independent fellowship, where he is closely working with the Shendruk group in Edinburgh.

Graduate Student

Oleksandr Baziei

Oleksandr studies self-propelled particles in Viscek like systems. Most of the time is busy with the MPCD algorithm. He did his Bachelor and Master of Physics at the Odesa National Mechnikov University, Ukraine and currently doing PhD remotely from there. Outside of research working as Software Developer in automotive industry.

Graduate Student

François de Tournemire

François studies the role of DNA polymers during biofilm formation, and will use the group’s MPCD algorithm along with experiments to look into this active system. He previously studied at the University of Manchester, followed by a master’s in Biophysics at the Université Paris-Saclay. As part of this degree, he had a research internship on the role of topological defects on morphogenesis, supervised by Carles Blanch-Mercader at the Curie Institute. Outside of Physics, François likes to climb, hike, and explore new places.

Graduate Student

Zahra Valei

Zahra studies the dynamics of polymers suspended in passive and active nematic liquid crystals. She did her Bachelor and Master of Physics at the University of Tehran. Her master project was on the study of spatiotemporal growth of tumours, supervised by A. Ali Saberi. Outside of physics, Zahra likes doing puzzles and handcrafts like embroidery.

Graduate Student

Louise Head

Louise studies the dynamics of colloids suspended in passive and active nematic liquid crystals, developing the group’s MPCD algorithm. She was previously a Physics student at the University of Warwick, graduating in 2020. Her MPhys project was a theoretical study of the twist-bend nematic phase, supervised by Dr. Gareth Alexander. Outside of research, Louise is a two-time English Women’s Chess Champion (2017 and 2019) and was the President of the University of Warwick chess society in 2018-19.

Graduate Student

Timofey Kozhukhov

Tim studies active liquid crystals and novel new ways to simulate them. His main focus is on the group’s MPCD codebase, designing and implementing new collision operators for the simulation of active matter. He also helps to manage the group’s various code bases and code distribution via Git. Tim previously studied Mathematics at the University of Bristol, where he worked with Prof. Liverpool on the analysis of bacteria suspended in liquid crystals, and with Dr Henkes on the simulation of crowd dynamics and turbulence.

Graduate Student

Jack Paget

Jack’s focus is on smectic liquid crystals and novel methods for describing their structure, defects and flow with plans to use these models to describe active systems such as bacteria colonies. He was previously a Mathematics student at Oxford University where he completed projects on collective cell motility and computational approaches to nanopore sequencing with Prof. Philip K. Maini and Prof. Jotun Hein respectively. Outside of Mathematics, Jack competes in Track and Field, previously serving as the President of the Oxford University Athletic Club.

Graduate Student

Ryan Keogh

Ryan is a current PhD student at Edinburgh University. His research is focuses around active nematic liquid crystals (intrinsically out-of-equilibrium systems that exhibit self-propulsion). He is interested in capturing the three-dimensional hydrodynamics of these fluids as well as their topological structure under different geometries. Outside of research, he enjoys long distance running, photography, and amateur boxing.

Undergraduate Project Students

Frances McGinley (Summer Student) Polymicrobial Structure and Stability, Edinburgh University, 2022
EPSRC Physics of Life Student Summer Bursary

Previous Members

Karolina Wamsler (MPhys) Nematic Colloids in Microfluidic Confinement, Edinburgh University, 2021-2022

Matt Chouzouris (MPhys) On the Effects of Bacterial Cell Geometry on inter-Species Interface Structure, Edinburgh University, 2021-2022
EPSRC Undergraduate Vacation Internship Summer

Danial Dolan (MPhys) Spatial Effects in Continuum Bacterial Modelling, Edinburgh University, 2021-2022

Una Alberti (Senior Honours Student) Smectic Gardening, Edinburgh University, 2021-2022

Tom Bramwell (Senior Honours Student) Swimming Bacteria in Confined Liquid Crystals, Edinburgh University, 2020-2021

Dan Buxton (Senior Honours Student) Losing That Planktonic Lifestyle, Edinburgh University, 2020-2021

Holly Haworth, Edinburgh University, 2020-2021

Keira Farmer, Edinburgh University, 2020-2021

Alex Parker (MSc) Modelling Polymeric Materials in Internally Ordered Biofluids, Loughborough University, 2019-2020

Steven Norfolk (MSc) Collective dynamics of simulated swimming micro-organisms and self-ordering mono-layers under confinement, Loughborough University, 2019-2020
EPSRC Physics of Life Student Summer Bursary