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Diana Khoromskaia

Note: This webpage will no longer be maintained, as I finished my PhD in June 2017 and moved on to a new research position.

I am a PhD student at the Centre for Complexity Science and the Department of Physics, working with Dr. Gareth P. Alexander. My research interests focus around the development of physical models to understand non-equilibrium properties of living systems. With the development of the field of active matter, it has proven insightful to describe suspensions of motile entities, such as bacteria suspensions or cytoskeletal filaments together with their molecular motors, as complex fluids with additional active stresses and liquid-crystalline alignment.

In my PhD I am developing mathematical models to understand the behaviour of such active fluids under geometrical confinement, e.g. when an active fluid forms a droplet on a substrate or coats a spherical vesicle membrane in a thin layer. In particular, I am interested in the effect of topological defects in the alignment on the large-scale flows in such geometries. For instance, defects are found to drive macroscopic motility through the flows they create. Studying simple models analytically and in simulations helps to develop a basic understanding of how curvature and topological constraints influence the dynamics of active fluids and provides a first step towards design and control of biomimetic materials in the future.

Topics of Interest:

  • active fluids
  • soft and biological matter
  • physics of cell motility
  • stochastic dynamics


  1. D. Khoromskaia and G. P. Alexander, Vortex formation and dynamics of defects in shells of active nematics, New J. Phys. 19 103043 (2017).
  2. D. Khoromskaia and G. P. Alexander, Motility of active fluid drops on surfaces , Phys. Rev. E 92, 062311 (2015).[arXiv:1508.05242]
  3. D. Khoromskaia, R. J. Harris, S. Grosskinsky, Dynamics of non-Markovian exclusion processes, J. Stat. Mech. (2014) P12013. [arXiv:1408.2139v2]


  • Oct. 2013 - present: PhD in Physics and Complexity Science, University of Warwick
    (supervised by Dr. Gareth Alexander and Dr. Stefan Grosskinsky)
  • 2012-2013: M.Sc. in Complexity Science, University of Warwick
  • 2010-2012: M.Sc. in Physics (University of Heidelberg, Germany), Thesis: "Multi-layer model of sliding friction mediated by molecular bonds" (supervised by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schwarz)
  • 2007-2010: B.Sc. in Physics (University of Heidelberg, Germany)
  • 2006-2007: studies of Mathematics and Physics (University of Leipzig, Germany)
  • 2006: Abitur (Wilhelm-Ostwald-Gymnasium, Leipzig, Germany)
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D2.17 Center for Complexity Science Zeeman Building
University of Warwick
CV4 7AL Coventry