prof.dr. PJA (Peter) van Heijster

prof.dr. PJA (Peter) van Heijster

Professor/Chairholder Applied Mathematics


Prof. dr. Peter van Heijster was a PhD student in applied mathematics at the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) under the supervision of Prof. Dr. A. Doelman. In 2009, he received his degree from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Following graduation, he was awarded a NWO Rubicon fellowship to conduct two years of postdoctoral research at Brown University in the USA under the supervision of Prof. B. Sandstede. He then worked as a postdoctoral associate at Boston University in the USA before commencing in august 2012 at QUT as an assistant, and later associate, professor. In September 2020 he started at the WUR as the Chair of Mathematics in Biometris.


Dr van Heijster is a applied analyst and his research focusses on nonlinear dynamics, and in particular on understanding pattern formation. The aim of his research is to get a better understanding of the pattern formation processes in paradigmatic mathematical models and to apply the new insights to more biologically-realistic models. He is particularly interested in the theoretical and mathematical underpinnings of the effects of heterogeneities on pattern formation processes.                

Research interests

  • pattern formation
  • nonlinear dynamics
  • singular perturbation techniques
  • canard theory
  • stability theory
  • Evan’s functions
  • renormalization group methods
  • center manifold reductions
  • travelling waves
  • cell migration & differentiation
  • predator-prey models