Prof. Dr. Anton Bovier

Associate Director of Graduate Studies

E-mail: bovier(at)
Phone: +49 228 73 3413
Fax: +49 228 73 9537
Room: 3.037
Location: Mathematics Center
Institute: Bonn International Graduate School - BIGS
Institute for Applied Mathematics
Research Areas: Research Area G (Leader)
Research Area H
Date of birth: 13.Dec 1957
Mathscinet-Number: 40400

Publication List

Academic Career


PhD, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

1986 - 1988

Irvine Visiting Assistant Professor, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA

1988 - 1991

Researcher, University of Bonn

1991 - 1992

Researcher, University of Bochum

1992 - 1995

Deputy Head, RG Interacting Random Systems, Weierstrass Institute for Applied Analysis and Stochastics, Berlin

1995 - 2008

Head, RG Interacting Random Systems, Weierstrass Institute for Applied Analysis and Stochastics, Berlin


Habilitation, TU Berlin

2003 - 2008

Professor (C4), TU Berlin

Since 2008

Professor (W3), University of Bonn

Research Profile

My research focuses on probability theory and its applications in physics and biology. A major topic I have been working on is the statistical mechanics of disordered systems, both from the equilibrium and the dynamical point of view. This requires in particular the analysis of the structure of the extreme values of the underlying random fields. The recent book [1] reviews a large body of work with various co-authors where we answered such questions in the context of certain Gaussian processes, in particular branching Brownian motion. A second topic is the theory of metastability, a common and important phenomenon occurring in non-linear stochastic dynamics. We developed a new approach to the analysis of metastability, the so-called potential theoretic approach. The theory and numerous applications are presented and summarised in a recent monograph with Frank den Hollander [2].

In the coming years I plan to shift the focus of my interest more on problems from the life
sciences. We have already started to work on a class of interacting spatial branching processes in inhomogeneous environments that are motivated by the biological theory of adaptive dynamics, that attempts to describe the qualitative features of evolving biological populations.
A major result we obtained recently with Martina Baar and Nicolas Champagnat [3] is the derivation of the so-called canonical equation of adaptive dynamics in a joint limit of large populations, small mutation rates, and small mutation steps. Using similar models, we have also initiated a collaboration with oncologists on the modelling of the evolution of cancer under treatment [4]. This poses numerous challenging problems both with respect to modelling, and the mathematical analysis of these models.

Selected Publications

[1] Anton Bovier
Gaussian processes on trees: from spin glasses to branching Brownian motion
of Cambridge studies in advanced mathematics : x + 200
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
[2] Anton Bovier, Frank den Hollander
A potential-theoretic approach
of Grundlehren der Mathematischen Wissenschaften [Fundamental Principles of Mathematical Sciences] : xxi+581
Publisher: Springer, Cham
ISBN: 978-3-319-24775-5; 978-3-319-24777-9
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-24777-9
[3] Martina Baar, Anton Bovier, Nicolas Champagnat
From stochastic, individual-based models to the canonical equation of adaptive dynamics - in one step
Ann. Appl. Probab. , online: : 78
[4] Martina Baar, Loren Coquille, Hannah Mayer, Michael Hölzel, Meri Rogava, Thomas Tüting, Anton Bovier
A stochastic model for immunotherapy of cancer
Scientific Reports , 6: : 24169
[5] Anton Bovier, Michael Eckhoff, Véronique Gayrard, Markus Klein
Metastability in reversible diffusion processes. I. Sharp asymptotics for capacities and exit times
J. Eur. Math. Soc. (JEMS) , 6: (4): 399--424
DOI: 10.4171/JEMS/14
[6] Anton Bovier
Statistical mechanics of disordered systems
A mathematical perspective
of Cambridge Series in Statistical and Probabilistic Mathematics : xiv+312
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
ISBN: 978-0-521-84991-3; 0-521-84991-8
DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511616808
[7] Anton Bovier, Frank den Hollander, Cristian Spitoni
Homogeneous nucleation for Glauber and Kawasaki dynamics in large volumes at low temperatures
Ann. Probab. , 38: (2): 661--713
DOI: 10.1214/09-AOP492
[8] Anton Bovier, Véronique Gayrard
Convergence of clock processes in random environments and ageing in the p-spin SK model
Ann. Probab. , 41: (2): 817--847
DOI: 10.1214/11-AOP705
[9] Florent Barret, Anton Bovier, Sylvie Méléard
Uniform estimates for metastable transition times in a coupled bistable system
Electron. J. Probab. , 15: : no. 12, 323--345
DOI: 10.1214/EJP.v15-751
[10] Michael Hölzel, Anton Bovier, Thomas Tüting
Plasticity of tumour and immune cells: a source of heterogeneity and a cause for therapy resistance?
Nat. Rev. Cancer , 13: (5): 365--376


2008 - 2012

Member of the Review Board for Mathematics, German Research Council

2008 - 2014

Member of the Selection Committee, Minerva Foundation


Eurandom Chair, Technical University of Eindhoven, Netherlands


Lady Davies Visiting Professor, Technion, Haifa, Israel


Kloosterman Chair, Leiden University, Netherlands


Elected Fellow, Institute of Mathematical Statistics

2014 - 2016

Member of the Award Committee for the “Heinz Maier Leibnitz Prize” of the German Research Foundation (DFG)

2015 - 2017

IMS Committee on Fellows



Professor, University of Groningen, Netherlands

Selected Invited Lectures


Invited talk, International Congress of Mathematicians, Madrid, Spain


Plenary talk, Annual meeting of German Mathematical Society, Munich


Plenary talk, 37th Conference on Stochastic Processes and their Applications, Buenos Aires, Argentina


• Journal of Statistical Physics (Editorial Board, 1996 - 1999)
• Markov Processes and Related Fields (Editorial Board, since 1996)
• Electronic Journal of Probability (Editorial Board, 2006 - 2014)
• Electronic Communications in Probability (Editorial Board, 2006 - 2014, Chief Editor, 2012 - 2014)
• Annales Henri Poincaré (Editorial Board, since 2012)
• ALEA, Latin American Journal of Probability and Mathematical Statistics (Editorial Board, since 2013)

Research Projects and Activities

DFG Priority Program SPP 1590 “Probabilistic structures in evolution”
Project leader, since 2012

DFG Collaborative Research Center SFB 1060 “The Mathematics of Emergent Effects”
Project leader, since 2013

DFG Cluster of Excellence “ImmunoSensation”
Principle Investigator, since 2014

DFG Cluster of Excellence “Hausdorff Center for Mathematics”
Principle Investigator, Associate Director of Graduate Studies, since 2014

Contribution to Research Areas

Research Area G
My main current activities related to the research programme of RA G concern the following topics: metastability in stochastic dynamics, ageing in the dynamics of disordered systems, extremal properties of random structures and spin glasses, and models of interacting populations and adaptive dynamics.


Véronique Gayrard (2000), now Directeur de Recherche, CNRS, Marseille, France

Christof Külske (2001), now Professor, University of Bochum

Barbara Gentz (2003), now Professor, University of Bielefeld

Irina Kourkova (2004), now Professor, University of Paris VI, France

Selected PhD students

Véronique Gayrard (1992),
now Directeur de Recherche, CNRS, Marseille, France

Christof Külske (1993): “Renormierungsgruppenanalyse zur Untersuchung der Stabilität von Oberflächen in ungeordneten Medien”,
now Professor, University of Bochum

Anton Klimovsky (2008): “Sums of Correlated Exponentials: Two Types of Gaussian Correlation Structures”,
now Lecturer, University of Duisburg-Essen

Martin Slowik (2012): “Contributions to the Potential Theoretic Approach to Metastability with Applications to the Random Field Curie-Weiss-Potts Model”,
now Researcher, TU Berlin

Giacomo di Gesù (2013): “Semiclassical spectral analysis of discrete Witten Laplacians”,
now École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, Paris, Champs-sur-Marne, France

Adela Svejda (2014): “Contributions to the study of ageing in disordered systems”,
now Raiffeisenbank, Zürich, Switzerland

Hannah Mayer (2016): “Contributions to Stochastic Modelling in the Immune System”,
now Researcher, Bayer Research, Wuppertal

Patrick Müller (2016): “Hydrodynamic Limit, Propagation of Chaos, Energy Landscape and Large Deviations”,
now Boston Consulting

Lisa Hartung (2016): “Brownian motion and friends”,
now Courant Instructor, New York University, NY, USA

Martina Baar (2017): “Stochastic, individual-based models and macroscopic approximations for adaptive dynamics with applications in cancer immunotherapy”,
now Postdoc, University of Bonn

Supervised Theses

  • Master theses: 14
  • Diplom theses: 18
  • PhD theses: 16, currently 3
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