James Holehouse

Program Postdoctoral Fellow

James Holehouse is a Mathematical Biologist interested in aspects of stochasticity and non-equilibrium statistical physics in biological, economic and physical systems. He comes from the sunny town of Bridlington on the east coast of Yorkshire.

His research aims to understand regulatory mechanisms and regulatory costs across various systems such as cells, companies and governments. This research aims to answer questions such as “what causes an increase in regulatory costs?”, “to what extent are naturally emergent regulatory mechanisms optimal?” and “how do regulatory needs constrain observed diversity across complex systems?” He aims to answer these questions within the vast framework provided by non-equilibrium statistical physics alongside Sidney Redner, Geoffrey West, Chris Kempes, Vicky Chuqiao Yang and Hyejin Youn. Other research interests include more fundamental questions in statistical physics (with Sidney Redner) and gene expression (with Ramon Grima), including investigations of first-passage time processes and inferring the effect of cell volume on cell physiology.

Previously, James studied Theoretical Physics (MPhys) and Mathematical Biology (PhD) both at the University of Edinburgh. For his MPhys he investigated whether cross-situational learning (a proposed mechanism for how children learn the meaning of words) is a viable learning strategy given the memory constraints of children. For his PhD he has worked on stochastic models of gene expression and enzyme kinetics, with an emphasis on how gene expression is controlled by various transcription mechanisms. He has also begun studies on economic toy models, with an interest in understanding how non-equilibrium transient phenomena affects social choice. He was the recipient of the Reinhart-Heinrich Doctoral Thesis Award 2022 from the European Society for Mathematical and Theoretical Biology.