Michael Plank is a Professor in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and Principal Investigator at Te Pūnaha Matatini, New Zealand's Centre of Research Excellence in Complex Systems and Data Analytics. He obtained his BSc(Hons) in Mathematics from the University of Bristol in 2000 and his PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of Leeds in 2003. He started at the University of Canterbury as a postdoctoral research fellow in 2004 and as a permanent academic staff member in 2006. Professor Plank's research lies at the interface of Applied Mathematics and Biology, spanning scales from intracellular signalling and collective cell behaviour, through to large ecosystem dynamics and ecological and social networks. His research is application-driven and focuses on mechanistic mathematical and stochastic models that capture emergent behaviour and offer qualitative insight into underlying mechanisms.