Dr Dion O'Neale

BA/BSc(Conj.) Auckland, BSc Hons Auckland, MSc Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, PhD Massey

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I was born in New Zealand and educated at the University of Auckland (BA/BSc conj. & BSc Hons), Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf, Germany (MSc) and Massey University, Palmerston North (PhD). After a period as a post-doctoral researcher at La Trobe University in Melbourne I returned to New Zealand and join the Applied Mathematics team at Industrial Research Limited (now Callaghan Innovation), in Lower Hutt, where I modeled geothermal reservoirs and nano-crystal growth, wrote reports on collaboration networks, and analyzed the role of science and innovation in economic growth. I joined the Department of Physics at Auckland in October 2013. I now work mostly in the broad area of network science and complex systems.

Research | Current

Two themes characterize much of my research: simple systems, which give rise to complicated dynamics, and conversely, complicated systems which result in simple behavioural patterns.

My current research is in the area of complex systems and network science. This involves both the analysis of empirical data, and developing computer simulations, in order to understand large systems of interacting parts. Surprisingly, even when the individual components of a system, and their interactions, are complicated, it is often possible to describe much of their behaviour by simple patterns.

I’m interested in how the different structures of networks (e.g., small-world, scale-free, or highly modular) affect the dynamics and properties of the systems (e.g. spread of ideas on the network). I’m also interested in how such network structures arise and the properties of the algorithms that might (re)produce them. One particular application of my research is to the economics of science and innovation - for example, looking at research and development activities within countries and regions as an “ecosystem” of interacting entities.

Teaching | Current

Course coordinator: Phys102 (Introduction to physics)

Course coordinator & Lecturer: Phys708 (Statistical Mechanics)

Coordinator: Special topic - Data science for physicists

Postgraduate supervision

Demival Vasques Filho (for PhD)

Catriona Sissons (for PhD)

Steven Turnbull (for PhD)

Adrian Ortiz Cervantes (for PhD)

Chakresh Singh (PhD student - visiting for 3 months from IIT Gandhinagar)

Karan Dasgupta (for Hons)


Physics Tuākana coordinator

Areas of expertise

  • Generative models of network growth
  • Complex systems and emergent phenomena
  • Small-world and scale-free networks
  • Mathematical modeling
  • Hamiltonian dynamical systems
  • Geometric numerical integration

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Physics Department Equity Working Group

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Vasques Filho, D., & O'Neale DRJ (2020). Transitivity and degree assortativity explained: The bipartite structure of social networks. Physical review. E, 101 (5-1)10.1103/physreve.101.052305
  • Harvey, E. P., & O'Neale DRJ (2019). Using network science to quantify economic disruptions in regional input-output networks. Arxiv Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/52651
  • Filho, D. V., & O'Neale DRJ (2019). Latent space generative model for bipartite networks. Arxiv Related URL.
  • Turnbull, S. M., Locke, K., Vanholsbeeck, F., & O'Neale DRJ (2019). Bourdieu, networks, and movements: Using the concepts of habitus, field and capital to understand a network analysis of gender differences in undergraduate physics. PloS one, 14 (9)10.1371/journal.pone.0222357
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Frederique Vanholsbeeck, Kirsten Locke, Steven Turnbull
  • Ladefoged, T. N., Gemmell, C., McCoy, M., Jorgensen, A., Glover, H., Stevenson, C., & O'Neale D (2019). Social network analysis of obsidian artefacts and Māori interaction in northern Aotearoa New Zealand. PloS one, 14 (3)10.1371/journal.pone.0212941
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Thegn Ladefoged
  • Vasques Filho, D., & O'Neale DRJ (2018). Degree distributions of bipartite networks and their projections. Physical review. E, 98 (2-1)10.1103/physreve.98.022307
  • O’Neale DRJ, & Hendy, S. C. (2012). Power Law Distributions of Patents as Indicators of Innovation. PLoS ONE, 7 (12).10.1371/journal.pone.0049501
  • Celledoni, E., Grimm, V., McLachlan, R. I., McLaren, D. I., O'Neale D, Owren, B., & Quispel, G. R. W. (2012). Preserving energy resp. dissipation in numerical PDEs using the ‘‘Average Vector Field’’ method. Journal of Computational Physics, 231 (20), 6770-6789. 10.1016/j.jcp.2012.06.022


Contact details

Office hours

By appointment - send me an e-mail

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 303 - Bldg 303
Level 6, Room 621
New Zealand

Web links