About Professor Peter Robinson

Professor Robinson is a double Federation Fellow who works on a range of complex systems topics, spanning brain dynamics, imaging, biological physics, computational neuroscience, nonlinear and stochastic dynamics, plasmas, and other areas.

Professor Robinson’s research addresses a range of complex systems with emphasis on interdisciplinary work and on obtaining realistic theoretical and computational results that are experimentally relevant.

Peter Robinson received his BSc and PhD in Theoretical Physics from The University of Sydney, then worked at the University of Colorado before returning to Australia as a QEII Fellow. He then took up a faculty position in the School of Physics, obtaining a chair in 2000, a Federation Fellowship in 2003, and a second Federation Fellowship in 2008. He has led research initiatives in multiple fields, including plasma and space physics, brain dynamics, computational neuroscience, imaging, and biological physics. His core research focus is on interdisciplinary research with an emphasis on translation of results into real-world applications. This involves a range of theoretical, computational, and experimental collaborations, including strong commercial and industrial interactions, and collaborations with Westmead Hospital, the Woolcock Institute, multiple Australian and overseas universities, and with NASA on the current STEREO space mission.
Prof. Robinson is head of the Complex Systems Group at The University of Sydney, Deputy Director of the Brain Dynamics Center at Westmead Hospital, a CI of the Center for Integrated Research and Understanding of Sleep, and a founding member of BRAINnet. His research has resulted in over 310 journal papers, which have been cited roughly 5000 times, plus over 400 conference presentations. His industry involvement includes patents, collaborations, and the float of Brain Resource Ltd on the Australian Stock Exchange. This work has led to numerous awards, including the Australian Academy of Science Pawsey Medal and Bede Morris Fellowship, the Royal Societies’ Eureka Prize for Interdisciplinary Research and Edgeworth David Medal, and the Australian Institute of Physics’s Walter Boas Medal.
Prof. Robinson has successfully supervised over 60 postgraduate and Honors candidatures, focusing on producing research-active graduates, each with a wide spectrum of skills and a strong publication record at the time of graduation. His wide range of interests and international collaborations, plus the highly varied personnel of his group, makes it possible to offer a range of projects, tailored to individual students. His work with undergraduates and postgraduates resulted in his receiving both The University of Sydney Excellence in Teaching (1996) and Excellence in Postgraduate Supervision (2003) awards. Former students have gone on to a range of successful careers in academia, health, industry, government, and other spheres.

Selected publications

  1. Robinson, P. A. (1992). Clumpy Langmuir Waves in Type-III Radio Sources, Solar Physics, 139, 147-163.
  2. Robinson, P. A. (1997). Nonlinear Wave Collapse and Strong Turbulence, Reviews of Modern Physics, 69, 507-573.
  3. Robinson, P. A., Rennie, C. J., and Wright, J. J. (1997). Propagation and Stability of Waves of Electrical Activity in the Cerebral Cortex, Physical Review E, 56, 826-840.
  4. Rennie, C. J., Robinson, P. A., and Wright, J. J. (2001). Unified Neurophysical Model of EEG Spectra and Evoked Potentials.
  5. Robinson, P. A., Rennie, C. J., and Rowe, D. L. (2002). Dynamics of Large-Scale Brain Activity in Normal Arousal States and Epileptic Seizures, Physical Review E, 65, 041924, 1-9.
  6. Robinson, P. A., Rennie, C. J., Rowe, D. L., and O'Connor, S. C. (2004). Estimation of Multiscale Neurophysiologic Parameters by EEG Means: Consistency and Complementarity vs. Independent Measures, Human Brain Mapping, 23, 53-72.
  7. Breakspear, M., Roberts, J., Terry, J. R., Rodrigues, S., Mahant, N., and Robinson, P. A. (2006). A Unifying Explanation of Primary Generalized Seizures Through Nonlinear Brain Modeling and Bifurcation Analysis, Cerebral Cortex, 16, 1296-1313.
  8. Deco, G., Jirsa, V.K., Robinson, P. A., Breakspear, M., and Friston, K. J. (2008). The Dynamic Brain: From Spiking Neurons to Neural Masses and Cortical Fields, Public Library of Science – Computational Biology, 4, e1000092, 1-35.
  9. Robinson, P. A., Henderson, J. A., Matar, E., Riley, P., and Gray, R. T. (2009). Dynamical Reconnection and Stability Constraints on Cortical Network Architecture, Physical Review Letters, 103, 108104, 1-4.
  10. Phillips, A. J. K., and Robinson, P. A., Kedziora, D. J., and Abeysuriya, R. G. (2010). Mammalian Sleep Dynamics: How Diverse Features Arise from a Common Physiological Framework, Public Library of Science – Computational Biology, 6, 31000826, 1-9.
  11. Drysdale, P. M., Huber, J. P., Robinson, P. A., and Aquino, K. M. (2010). Spatiotemporal BOLD Dynamics from a Poroelastic Hemodynamic Model, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 265, 524-534.