Katarína Boďová

Postdoc in Nick Barton Group and Gašper Tkačik Group


Now at the Comenius University, Bratislava, Department of Mathematical Analysis and Numerical Mathematics


Recent scientific and non-scientific achievements

  • In November 2017 I've moved to Bratislava as an assistant professor at the Department of Mathematical Analysis and Numerical Mathematics, Comenius University - my new webpage.
  • In October 2017 our paper on dynamics of quantitative traits got published in Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena.
  • In August 2016 I won a silver medal from the European Discgolf Championships in Oulu, Finland.
  • In August 2016 I competed in the Professional Discgolf World Championships in Emporia, KS and became 5th.
  • In July 2016 I received the price for the best poster presentation at the SIAM Life Sciences meeting (Boston, MA). I spoke about my experimental/theory project about human walking in the absence of orientation cues.
  • In April 2016 our paper on maximum entropy got published in Genetics, see the link to the paper below.


The list of my current research interests in Applied Mathematics and Mathematical Modelling, Stochastic Processes and Evolutionary Genetics are briefly described below. 

I. Dynamic maximum entropy approximation

Methods in statistical physics turn out to be useful quantitative genetics to approximate the multiscale evolution of complex traits by a simpler dynamics by following just a few observables. I have extended the method to a case of small mutation when the allele frequencies are best represented by a combination of a continuous distribution with discrete states (with Nick Barton and Gašper Tkačik). I am currently interested in further applications of this dimensionality-reduction method, for instance in the coagulation-fragmentation processes. I am studying the performance of the method in collaboration with Peter Markowich and Jan Haskovec.

II. Collective motion (experiments, modeling, inference)

Advances in technology allow us to record individual trajectories of animals within a group and to further study the principles of animal behavior.I am working on three separate projects, trying to understand these principles and the emergence of collective behavior:

  1. Modeling ant foraging. I study ant foraging and dynamics of trail formation in collaboration with Miriam Malíčková (Slovak Academy of Sciences) and Kit Yates (University of Bath).
  2. Human walking in the absence of orientation. I am also very interested in why humans in the absence of orientation are unable to keep walking straight and how interaction between walkers impacts the success in this task. We performed single-walked and pair-walking experiments with Mário Miglierini (Comenius University) and are developing theoretical models to investigate optimal strategies in pairs with Richard Kollár (Comenius University), Radek Erban, Uli Dobramysl (University of Oxford
  3. Inference of the animal behavior. I am trying to develop an inference method that reveals behavioral patterns of interacting animals from their individual trajectories. This is a joint work with Gašper Tkačik and Gabriel Mitchell.

III. Telomere length maintenance

I am interested in alternative ways for maintenance of telomere length in cells that do not have the enzyme telomerase, typically responsible for this task. We have developed a purely biophysical, parameter-free model with Richard Kollár, Ľubomír Tomáška, Jozef Nosek (Comenius University) for yeast mitochondria in terms of a coagulation-fragmentation system and we are interested in the maintenance of human telomeres. 

Education and Work Experience

2017 — Assistant Professor, Department of Math Analysis and Numerics, Comenius University, Bratislava

2013 — 2017 PostDoc, IST Austria in the groups Tkačik, Barton

2009 — 2013 Researcher, Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Comenius University, Bratislava

2004 — 2009 PhD in Applied and Interdisciplinary Mathematics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 

1999 — 2004 Mgr. in Mathematics of Economy and Finance, Comenius University, Bratislava

1995 — 1999 High school with enhanced Math education, Gymnázium Grosslingová




Dobramysl, U., Boďová, K., Kollár, R., Erban, R., Human pair walking behaviour: evaluation of cooperative walking strategies (in preparation).

Migilierini, M., Boďová, K., Walking in the absence of orientation (in preparation).

Boďová, K., Priklopil, T., Pickup, M., Field, D., Evolutionary pathways for the generation of new self-incompatibility haplotypes in a cooperative non-self recognition system (submitted).

[2017] Boďová, K., Mitchell, G.J., Harpaz, R., Schneidman, E., Tkačik, G., Probabilistic models of individual and collective animal behaviors (in press), [arXiv].

[2017]  Boďová, K., Haskovec, J., Markowich, P., Well posedness and Maximum Entropy Approximation for the Dynamics of Quantitative Traits, to appear in Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena (in press), [arXiv].

[2016] Malíčková, M., Yates, C., Boďová, K., The role of randomness in collective behaviour of ants (submitted) [arXiv]

[2016] Boďová, K., Tkačik, G., Barton, N. A general approximation for the dynamics of quantitative traits, Genetics, 2016 202: 1-26 (doi: 10.1534/genetics.115.184127), [arXiv].

[2015] Boďová, K., Paydarfar, D., Forger, D.B., Characterizing Spiking in Noisy Type II Neurons, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 2015 365: 40-54 (doi: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2014.09.041).

[2014] Kollár, R., Boďová, K., Nosek, J., Tomáška L., Mathematical model of alternative mechanism of telomere length maintenance , 2014 Phys Rev. E, 89 (3): 40-54 (doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.89.032701), arXiv.

[2012] Boďová, K., Doering, C.R., Noise-Induced Statistically Stable Oscillations in a Deterministically Divergent Nonlinear Dynamical System, Commun. Math. Sci., 2012 10: 137-157 (doi: 10.4310/CMS.2012.v10.n1.a8). 

[2010] Lin, Z., Boďová, K., Doering, C.R., Models and Measures of Mixing and Effective Diffusion, Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems, 2010 28: 259-274 (doi:10.3934/dcds.2010.28.259), [arXiv]