Mathematical Biology

To more easily theorize the impacts of environmental factors on living organisms, biologists and mathematicians sometimes combine forces to create mathematical models to identify, understand, and analyze how these factors might come into effect in the real world.

On this page you’ll find information about mathematical biology, what University of Alberta scientists are working on in this area, and the effect their work has.

What Is Mathematical Biology?

Mathematical biology (also known as biomathematics or mathematical and theoretical biology) is a branch of biology that uses mathematical models and analyses and representations of living organisms to examine the systems that govern structure, development, and behaviour of and within biological systems.

Mathematical biology relies on a more theoretical approach and analysis to solve problems rather than using experiments to prove theories like its experimental biology counterpart.

Mathematical Biology Initiatives

Students and faculty in the Colllaborative Mathematical Biology Group posed in front of a cabin in Jasper, rocky mountains in the background

Collaborative Mathematical Biology Group

The Collaborative Mathematical Biology (CMB) Group comprises faculty and students seeking to bridge the gap between scientists and mathematicians to solve problems affecting Canadians.

The group focuses on:

  • Creating connections between life scientists and mathematicians, as well as between academics and government and industry professionals
  • Training the next generation of researchers
  • Encouraging, developing, and disseminating mathematical biology research locally, nationally, and internationally

Professor Profiles

Gerda de Vries, professor in mathematical biology at UAlberta, sitting on a stone bench and smiling at the camera.

Professor Gerda de Vries

Get to know Professor Gerda de Vries from the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences in this Q & A.


Head shot of Mark Lewis, professor of mathematical biology at UAlberta, in front of a mural with a dandelion blowing its seeds into the wind.

Professor Mark Lewis

Read about Mark Lewis's work developing an artificial intelligence tool to help manage aquatic invasive species like zebra mussels.


UAlberta Mathematical Biologists

Do you have questions about mathematical biology? Talk to some of our professors:

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