MTB Members


Maira Aguiar – Group Leader

I am a mathematical epidemiologist working on infectious disease dynamics. With a multidisciplinary research profile, I am trained in dynamical systems theory, stochastic processes, nonlinear dynamics, bifurcation analysis and biostatistics, holding a double European PhD degree, PhD in Life Sciences, from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and PhD in Population Biology, from the University of Lisbon, Portugal.

I am the founder and group leader of the Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Group at the Basque Center for Applied Mathematics (BCAM) in the Basque Country, Spain. and my scientific interests addresses significant mathematical and fundamental questions in biology and medicine, with special focus on public health epidemiology modeling. I a member of the Board of Directors of the European Society for Mathematical and Theoretical Biology (ESMTB), serving as Vice-President from 2018-2020. As a member of the Basque Modeling Task Force, I am currently assisting the Basque Health Managers and the Basque Government during the COVID-19 responses.

Nico Stollenwerk – Experienced Researcher

I am a biomathematician working in population biology and complex systems throughout my scientific career. With previous experiences in European projects, mainly on influenza and dengue fever, I am currently a Visiting Researcher at BCAM, Bilbao, and an active member of the Basque Modeling Task Force (BMTF) on COVID-19.

Nicole Cusimano – Postoctoral Fellow

After graduating in mathematics at the University of Trieste in 2010, I moved to Australia for what I thought was going to be a 1-year masters overseas. I fell in love with the place, the people, and my work, my masters became a PhD and, after obtaining my doctorate in applied mathematics at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane in 2015, I worked for a year as postdoc at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers in the same city. In 2016 I came back to Europe, moved to Bilbao, and started my career at the Basque Center for Applied Mathematics where to this day I hold a postdoctoral position. My research interests are in the development and application of mathematical and computational methods for complex biological systems, solving real-life problems by merging theoretical results with observational and experimental data.

Damián Knopoff – Postoctoral Fellow

I am a mathematician and chemical engineer by training, and I hold a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics. My research has been mainly focused on the mathematical modeling and numerical simulations of complex living systems, with emphasis on crowd dynamics and biological phenomena. More recently, I have started to work on epidemiological models with particular interest in the spatial dynamics of infectious disease contagion, spreading, control and prevention, by means of tools from stochastic processes and network theory.

Vanessa Steindorf – Postoctoral Fellow

I am a mathematician with a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics, having wide experience in teaching and mathematical modelling. My academic background is in Biomathematics, with emphasis on Epidemiology. I proposed deterministic models (ODEs, PDEs) to represent, to study and to analyse the behaviour of infectious diseases, focusing on vector borne diseases, such as Chagas disease and Dengue fever.
My research interest is to develop and to analyze mathematical models, to study the propagation of infectious diseases, presenting possible scenarios and assessing control measures.

Akhil Srivastav – Research Technician

 I am a trained mathematician who received my Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Applied Mathematics from the School of Advanced Sciences, Vellore Institute of Technology, India. During my M.Phil and Ph.D., I worked on infectious disease modeling, such as vector-borne diseases and influenza. My current focus is on Covid-19 Modeling and Dengue Disease, as well as developing a good model, analyzing data with the model, and discussing control interventions (Optimal Control). My research interests include vector-borne disease mathematical modeling, Covid-19, infectious disease dynamics, mathematical modeling of social problems, non-linear dynamics, optimal control, and complex networks.

Bruno Guerrero – Research Technician

I am a Venezuelan physicist, graduated from the University of Los Andes (Venezuela), with an M.Sc. in Physics from the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research, and received a Ph.D. degree from the University of Navarra (Spain) within the doctorate program in Complex Systems. I trained in far-from-equilibrium statistical physics and non-linear phenomena, performed experiments and numerical simulations in granular matter, and have teaching experience in physics and biostatistics.
Throughout the years, my research has aimed to further the understanding of diverse collective behaviors appearing in complex systems, bearing in mind their direct applications in industry and everyday life. Formerly, I have focused on the study of granular phenomena,  shedding light on the dynamics of driven disordered systems and transport processes in confined geometries. Currently, I am more interested in developing bio-mathematical models to describe infectious disease spreading.

Rubén Blasco – Research Technician

I am a mathematician by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and I have experience in computer science programming and blockchain testing. I have recently received my master degree in Physics and Mathematics by the University of Granada. I consider myself as a curious person, who likes to apply mathematics in the real world. I have great interest in PDEs and predictive models, as well as in machine learning and AI. I am currently working in Collaboration with Biodonostia Health Research Institute on survival and cost-effectiveness analysis for the COVID-19 vaccination programmes in the Basque Country.

Vizda Anam – PhD Student

I have received my Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics from University of Gujrat, Gujrat, Pakistan. During my Masters, I have worked on wave models of partial differential equations using the Sinc-Collocation approach. I moved to Spain on October 2020 to work on my Ph.D. project “SEV-2017-0718” under the supervision of Dr. Maíra Aguiar at the Mathematical and Theoretical Biology MTB-Group. My Ph.D. project focuses on within-host modeling aiming to understand the host-immune components involved in disease progression. Applied to dengue fever epidemiology, I am developing within-host models to understand the immunopathogenesis of severe disease after a mild/asymptomatic primary dengue infection. This modeling approach will be applied to different infectious diseases.

Carlo Estadilla  PhD Student 

I am a Ph.D. fellow at the MTB group at BCAM. I am currently working on the cost-effectiveness of COVID-19 interventions including vaccination. I have previously done research on the optimal control, modeling, and forecasting of COVID-19. I took my graduate degree in applied mathematics from the University of the Philippines – Diliman, where I studied the optimal control of an HIV/AIDS epidemic model. My general interest is in the optimization of interventions and policies affecting population-level dynamics and behavior.PhD Student 

Internship Students

Silvia Garcia
(From Sept. – Dec. 2021)

Stefano Spaziani
(From Sept. – Dec. 2021)

Irati Egigure
(From Dec. 2020 – Feb. 2021)

In house Ph.D. Students

Marina Echeverría
BCAM – CFD Modelling and Simulation Group

External Scientific Members

Andrea Pugliese
Università degli studi di Trento, Italy
(Since 2019)


Urszula Skwara
 Maria Curie-Sklodowska University in Lublin, Poland
(From Sept. – Oct. 2021)