Robert Clegg

Robert Clegg

School of Biosciences

Contact details

School of Biosciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

PhD Title: Modeling competition and cooperation in microbial communities

Supervisors: Dr Jan-Ulrich Kreft (School of Biosciences), Dr Rosemary Dyson (School of Mathematics)

Robert is a mathematician investigating dynamics of microbial communities. His particular topics of investigation are: the evolutionary origin of aging, and statistical tools to estimate the rate of metabolite flux between microorganisms in a syntrophic relationship.


MMath (Hons) Mathematics (First Class), University of Exeter


Robert gave up Biology and Chemistry after GCSE, deciding instead to focus on Mathematics and Physics. It wasn’t until his third year as a Mathematics undergraduate at the University of Exeter that his interest in Biology emerged, leading to a Master’s project on Individual-based Models of bacterial colony propagation.


Applied mathematics, population dynamics

Other activities

Robert is a member of the Society for General Microbiology and the International Society for Microbial Ecology. He is a keen hiker and traveller.


A poster titled “Revisiting the Evolution of Aging: Repair is the Optimal Unicellular Strategy” was presented at the Institute of Microbiology and Infection Inaugural Symposium and the Society for General Microbiology Spring Conference 2012. A talk on the same topic was presented at the 14th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology, in Copenhagen.