MTB Members


Maíra 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.

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.

Fernando Saldaña – Postoctoral Fellow

I am an applied mathematician currently working on the mathematical modeling of infectious diseases. I obtained a PhD degree in applied mathematics, with honors, at the Center for Research in Mathematics, Mexico. I am interested in applying mathematical modeling and computer simulation methods to real-world problems in biology, ecology, and public health. I have significant experience in the analysis and formulation of kermack-mckendrick-type epidemiological models, scientific computing, optimal control theory, and parameter estimation for ODE epidemic models. I have one year of postdoctoral experience working on COVID-19 epidemiological dynamics and I am currently studying connections between climate change and infectious diseases transmission, in particular, the spillover effect dynamics.

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.

Internship Students

Silvia Garcia
(University of Salamanca, Spain)
From Sept. 2021 – March 2022

Stefano Spazianin
(Politecnico di Milano, Italy)
From March – July 2021

Irati Egigure
(University of Basque Country, Spain)
From Dec. 2020 – Feb. 2021

In house Ph.D. Students

Marina Echeverría
BCAM – CFD Modelling and Simulation Group

External PhD/Master Students

Chiara Cicolani 
(Erasmus+ Traineeship, University of L’Aquila, Italy)
From Feb. – Dic. 2022

External Scientific Members

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


Bob. W. Kooi
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
(From Nov. 2022 to March 2023)

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

Nico Stollenwerk 
University of Trento, Italy
From Sept. 2020 – March 2021


Former Members

Nicole Cusimano 
Postdoctoral Fellow (From Feb. 2020 – May. 2022)

Damián Knopoff
Postdoctoral Fellow (From Dec. 2020 – Jun. 2022)