Considering doing research in our group?

We welcome interest in joining the post-graduate research programme in this group. Please peruse the pages on this site to see what kind of research on this site.

For 2017 and beyond the efforts in the group will focus on the following issues:

  • Active matter (in particular further exploration of motility assays)
  • Confined networks (computer simulations and analytical calculations on the distribution of filaments within confined environments). An important task will be the development of image processing algorithms and detailed interpretations of experiments (various types of microscopy). This project has close collaboration with experimentalist colleagues in Stellenbosch and the UK.
  • Mitochondrial networks or autophagy: computer modelling from general flow properties to detailed simulations.

Interested persons should have a strong background in statistical physics and some field theoretical techniques. As can be seen from the projects descriptions above strong computational skills are also required. The field is fast-moving and challenging which requires extremely dedicated and capable scientific minds!

Please include in your initial query a detailed academic record (listing specifically the quantum mechanics and statistical physics texts you studied), a CV, as well as a paragraph or two why you would like to do research in the specific fields of the research group.

Group member: Somiéalo Azote

Somiéalo Azote joins the group in September 2015 to pursue a PhD, working on mechanical properties of collections of cells.

Currently Somiéalo is working on the role of cytoskeletal networks in the elastic response of cells. Eventually this will be coupled into a model for tissues.

We are grateful for generous funding of her studies by the Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World.

Group member: Sthembiso Gumede

Sthembiso Gumede has been a member of the group for a number of years.  Currently he is well into his research for PhD on tethered membranes and their stability.  Previously, Sthembiso completed a MSc degree on polymer translocation, also in the group.

We appreciate funding of his work from the National Institute for Theoretical Physics.

Janusz Meylahn MSc successful

Janusz Meylahn, group member and MSc student, has successfully passed his MSc exam.

We congratulate Janusz and wish him well in his next adventure!

Professor Sir Sam Edwards

In the daily scientific activities of this research group, the scientific insights and methods of Professor Sir Sam Edwards are very frequently employed.  We use his theoretical tools when studying networks or topology of polymers, and the understanding of the dynamics of polymers is forever influenced by his magnificent insights.

We remember a truly great physicist and remarkable and kind supervisor.

Professor Dame Athene Donald has written a lovely and comprehensive tribute to Sir Sam: On the loss of a giant.

Collaborator: Ben Loos

Dr Ben Loos (Dept of Physiological Sciences at Stellenbosch University) has a long-standing interest in the molecular mechanisms that control cell death susceptibility. His research centres around protein degradative mechanisms and their dynamics, transport and function of mitochondria along tubulin networks and their role in neuronal degeneration and migration.  His research group utilizes in vitro models for neuronal protein aggregation storage disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, to unravel and to direct the complex molecular interplay towards an environment that favours cellular function and survival. He has an equally long-standing interest in high resolution fluorescence-based microscopy techniques, and has managed the Cell Imaging Unit ( for many years. Integral part of his research in physiological sciences is the application of powerful microscopy techniques such as SR-SIM.

Kristian Müller-Nedebock

Kristian Müller-Nedebock is a physicist, employed as Professor in the Department of Physics at Stellenbosch University.  His route to the current position in Stellenbosch included a PhD at the Cavendish Laboratory from the University of Cambridge and several years as a post-doctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz.

Kristian Müller-Nedebock

Kristian Müller-Nedebock

This site shows some of the scientific work members of the group and he do at Stellenbosch.