Dr Pierre Haas



  • 2016- : EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellow, DAMTP, University of Cambridge
  • 2013-2016 : PhD Student, DAMTP, University of Cambridge
  • 2009-2013 : Mathematical Tripos (BA & MMath), Gonville & Caius College, University of Cambridge


Pierre is a member of the Biological Physics research group in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. His research is on the mathematics of morphogensis: how does shape arise in physical systems, living or otherwise?. In particular, Pierre is interested gaining a mechanical understanding of the inversion process in the green alga Volvox

Related Publications

  1. S. Höhn, A. R. Honerkamp-Smith, P. A. Haas, P. Khuc Trong, and R. E. Goldstein, "Dynamics of a Volvox Embryo Turning Itself Inside Out", Physical Review Letters 114, 178101 (2015).
  2. P. A. Haas and R. E. Goldstein, "Elasticity and Glocality: Initiation of Embryonic Inversion in Volvox", J R Soc Interface 12, 20150671 (2015).

Shape generating chemical systems are a very literal instantiation of Turing's quest for the chemical basis of morphogenesis. Pierre has been interested in developing a theory describing a recently discovered exemplar of such a system: oil emulsion droplets that flatten into a variety of polygonal shapes upon slow cooling.

Related Publication

  1. P. A. Haas, R. E. Goldstein, S. K. Smoukov, D. Cholakova, and N. Denkov, "A Theroy of Shape-Shifting Droplets", Physical Review Letters 118, 088001 (2017).

Another research interest centres around probabilistic models for the prediction of RNA secondary structures, in particular extending models based on stochastic context-free grammars to include kinetic transcription effects.

Related Publication

  1. J. W. J. Anderson, P. A. Haas, L.-A. Mathieson, V. Volynkin, R. Lyngsø, P. Tataru, and J. Hein, "Oxfold: kinetic folding of RNA using stochastic context-free grammars and evolutionary information", Bioinformatics 29, 704 (2013).