Dr Claire Maria Postlethwaite


Profile Image
Associate Professor


Claire is an Associate Professor in Applied Mathematics at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. She was awarded her PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2006, and moved to New Zealand after two years of post-docs in the USA. Her background is in the area of applied dynamical systems, but her interests range from theoretical studies of differential equations to using applications of mathematics to understand animal behaviour and navigation. Her research has resulted in several awards, including the New Zealand Mathematics Society Early Career Award for Mathematical Research (2011) and the University of Auckland’s Early Career Research Excellence Award (2013).

Claire is currently looking for two well-qualified PhD students to work on her recently-funded Marsden research project "Noisy networks: understanding how stochasticity affects mathematical models of cognitive systems". For more details please see the advert here: https://goo.gl/hZHrJx



Research | Current

I have a wide range of interests in the area of dynamical systems theory and applications to control and biological systems. I have made contributions to the dynamical systems literature in the areas of: heteroclinic cycles and networks; time-delayed feedback control; delay-differential equations; coupled cell dynamics; noise-induced dynamics; bifurcation theory. I have also worked in mathematical ecology, specializing in models of animal navigation, and animal movement and models of behaviour.

Teaching | Current

I regularly make contributions to the following courses:

  • Maths 190
  • Maths 260
  • Maths 340
  • Maths 761

Postgraduate supervision

PhD students

  • Rebecca Turner (Mathematical models of animal navigation)

Master's students

  • Valerie Jeong (Evolutionary robotics and dynamical systems)
  • Nidia Jackson (Evolutionary robotics and dynamical systems)

Honours students

  • Nelson Wong (Evolutionary robotics and dynamical systems)


2013, Early Career Research Excellence Award, University of Auckland 

2011, Early Career Award for Mathematical Research, New Zealand Mathematical Society

2011, Early Career Teaching Excellence Award, Faculty of Science, University of Auckland

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Ceni, A., Ashwin, P., Livi, L., & Postlethwaite, C. (2020). The echo index and multistability in input-driven recurrent neural networks. PHYSICA D-NONLINEAR PHENOMENA, 41210.1016/j.physd.2020.132609
  • Egbert, M. D., Jeong, V., & Postlethwaite, C. M. (2020). Where Computation and Dynamics Meet: Heteroclinic Network-Based Controllers in Evolutionary Robotics. IEEE transactions on neural networks and learning systems, 31 (4), 1084-1097. 10.1109/tnnls.2019.2917471
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Matthew Egbert, Valerie Jeong
  • Gandhi, P., Golubitsky, M., Postlethwaite, C., Stewart, I., & Wang, Y. (2020). Bifurcations on Fully Inhomogeneous Networks. SIAM JOURNAL ON APPLIED DYNAMICAL SYSTEMS, 19 (1), 366-411. 10.1137/18M1230736
  • Hasan, C. R., Osinga, H. M., Postlethwaite, C. M., & Rucklidge, A. M. (2019). Stability of periodic travelling waves in a Rock-Paper-Scissors model. Arxiv Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Hinke Osinga, Cris Hasan
  • Postlethwaite, C. M., & Rucklidge, A. M. (2019). A trio of heteroclinic bifurcations arising from a model of spatially-extended Rock-Paper-Scissors. NONLINEARITY, 32 (4), 1375-1407. 10.1088/1361-6544/aaf530
  • Egbert, M., Keane, A., Postlethwaite, C., & Wong, N. (2019). Can Signal Delay be Functional? Including Delay in Evolved Robot Controllers. Artificial life, 25 (4), 315-333. 10.1162/artl_a_00299
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Matthew Egbert
  • Ashwin, P., & Postlethwaite, C. (2018). Sensitive Finite-State Computations Using a Distributed Network With a Noisy Network Attractor. IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems, 1-12. 10.1109/TNNLS.2018.2813404
  • Keane, A., Krauskopf, B., & Postlethwaite, C. M. (2017). Climate models with delay differential equations. Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science, 27 (11)10.1063/1.5006923
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Bernd Krauskopf

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 2, Room 229A
New Zealand

Web links