Postdoctoral Fellow

The Australian National University
Since 10/2017

Research Associate

Imperial College London

Academic Visitor

Max Planck Institute


University of Cambridge
10/2015, Advisor: Jake Rasmussen

Master of Advanced Study

University of Cambridge

Bachelor of Science

Universität Wien


I am broadly interested in geometry and topology. My research focuses on categorification in quantum topology, especially knot- and link homology theories and their deep relationships to (higher) representation theory and mathematical physics. All my papers are available on the mathematics arXiv. They are also listed by Google Scholar, ORCID logo ORCiD and ResearchGate.

10) Khovanov homology and categorification of skein modules

For every oriented surface of finite type, we construct a functorial Khovanov homology for links in a thickening of the surface, which takes values in a categorification of the corresponding gl(2) skein module. The latter is a mild refinement of the Kauffman bracket skein algebra, and its categorification is constructed using a category of gl(2) foams that admits an interesting non-negative grading. We expect that the natural algebra structure on the gl(2) skein module can be categorified by a tensor product that makes the surface link homology functor monoidal. We construct a candidate bifunctor on the target category and conjecture that it extends to a monoidal structure. This would give rise to a canonical basis of the associated gl(2) skein algebra and verify an analogue of a positivity conjecture of Fock–Goncharov and Turston. We provide evidence towards the monoidality conjecture by checking several instances of a categorified Frohman-Gelca formula for the skein algebra of the torus. Finally, we recover a variant of the Asaeda–Przytycki–Sikora surface link homologies and prove that surface embeddings give rise to spectral sequences between them.

With Hoel Queffelec.

9) Extremal weight projectors II

In previous work, we have constructed diagrammatic idempotents in an affine extension of the Temperley–Lieb category, which describe extremal weight projectors for sl(2), and which categorify Chebyshev polynomials of the first kind. In this paper, we generalize the construction of extremal weight projectors to the case of gl(N) for N > 1, with a view towards categorifying the corresponding torus skein algebras via Khovanov–Rozansky link homology. As by-products, we obtain compatible diagrammatic presentations of the representation categories of gl(N) and its Cartan subalgebra, and a categorification of power-sum symmetric polynomials.

With Hoel Queffelec.

8) Rational links and DT invariants of quivers

We prove that the generating functions for the colored HOMFLY-PT polynomials of rational links are specializations of the generating functions of the motivic Donaldson-Thomas invariants of appropriate quivers that we naturally associate with these links. This shows that the conjectural links-quivers correspondence of Kucharski–Reineke–Stošić–Sułkowski as well as the LMOV conjecture hold for rational links. Along the way, we extend the links-quivers correspondence to tangles and, thus, explore elements of a skein theory for motivic Donaldson-Thomas invariants.

With Marko Stošić.

7) Exponential growth of colored HOMFLY-PT homology

We define reduced colored sl(N) link homologies and use deformation spectral sequences to characterize their dependence on color and rank. We then define reduced colored HOMFLY-PT homologies and prove that they arise as large N limits of sl(N) homologies. Together, these results allow proofs of many aspects of the physically conjectured structure of the family of type A link homologies. In particular, we verify a conjecture of Gorsky, Gukov and Stošić about the growth of colored HOMFLY-PT homologies.

6) Functoriality of colored link homologies

We prove that the bigraded, colored Khovanov–Rozansky type A link and tangle invariants are functorial with respect to link and tangle cobordisms.

With Michael Ehrig and Daniel Tubbenhauer.

Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society available online

5) q-holonomic formulas for colored HOMFLY polynomials of 2-bridge links

We compute q-holonomic formulas for the HOMFLY polynomials of 2-bridge links colored with one-column (or one-row) Young diagrams.

Journal of Pure and Applied Algebra available online

4) Extremal weight projectors

We introduce a quotient of the affine Temperley-Lieb category that encodes all weight preserving linear maps between finite-dimensional sl(2)-representations. We study the diagrammatic idempotents that correspond to projections onto extremal weight spaces and find that they satisfy similar properties as Jones-Wenzl projectors, and that they categorify the Chebyshev polynomials of the first kind. This gives a categorification of the Kauffman bracket skein algebra of the annulus, which is well adapted to the task of categorifying the multiplication on the Kauffman bracket skein module of the torus.

With Hoel Queffelec.

Mathematical Research Letters to appear

3) Deformations of colored sl(N) link homologies via foams

We prove a conjectured decomposition of deformed sl(N) link homology, as well as an extension to the case of colored links, generalizing results of Lee, Gornik, and Wu. To this end, we use foam technology to give a completely combinatorial construction of Wu’s deformed colored sl(N) link homologies. By studying the underlying deformed higher representation-theoretic structures and generalizing the Karoubi envelope approach of Bar-Natan and Morrison, we explicitly compute the deformed invariants in terms of undeformed type A link homologies of lower rank and color.

With David Rose.

Geometry & Topology 20-6 (2016), 3431--3517

2) Super q-Howe duality and web categories

We use super q–Howe duality to provide diagrammatic presentations of an idempotented form of the Hecke algebra and of categories of gl(N)–modules (and, more generally, gl(N|M)–modules) whose objects are tensor generated by exterior and symmetric powers of the vector representations. As an application, we give a representation-theoretic explanation and a diagrammatic version of a known symmetry of colored HOMFLY–PT polynomials.

With Daniel Tubbenhauer and Pedro Vaz.

Algebraic & Geometric Topology 17-6 (2017), 3703--3749

1) Categorified sl(N) invariants of colored rational tangles

We use categorical skew Howe duality to find recursion rules that compute categorified sl(N) invariants of rational tangles colored by exterior powers of the standard representation. Further, we offer a geometric interpretation of these rules which suggests a connection to Floer theory. Along the way we make progress towards two conjectures about the colored HOMFLY homology of rational links and discuss consequences for the corresponding decategorified invariants.

Algebraic & Geometric Topology 16-1 (2016), 427--482



  1. Program: "Quantum Knot Invariants and Supersymmetric Gauge Theories", Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, 18th November - 9th December 2018.
  2. I am organising a workshop on "Classical and quantum three-manifold topology" at Monash University, Melbourne, 14th - 21st December 2018.
  3. I am organising a workshop on "Categorification in quantum topology and beyond" at the Erwin Schrödinger Institut, Vienna, 7th - 18th January 2019. Please email me if you would like to participate.

Conference talks and colloquia

  1. Conference "Categorification and Higher Representation Theory", Institute Mittag Leffler, 9th - 13th July 2018.
  2. Conference: TQFT and categorification, IESC, Corsica, 15th - 20th April 2018.
  3. Workshop: Categorification in mathematical physics, SCGP, Stony Brook, 9th - 13th April 2018. Video
  4. Workshop: Modular Forms and Quantum Knot Invariants, Banff International Research Station, 11th - 16th March 2018.
  5. Conference: Quantum knot homology and supersymmetric gauge theories, Aspen Center for Physics, 4th - 10th March 2018.
  6. Junior Trimester Programme: Symplectic Geometry and Representation Theory, Hausdorff Research Institute for Mathematics, Bonn, 20th November - 1st December 2017. Video
  7. Conference: Representation Theory and Combinatorics of Torus Links, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 8th July 2017.
  8. INI workshop: Quantum topology and categorified representation theory, Isaac Newton Institute, Cambridge, 26th - 30th June 2017. Video
  9. Symposium in Mathematical Physics, Universität Zürich, 24th - 25th April 2017.
  10. INI workshop: Physics and knot homologies, Isaac Newton Institute, Cambridge, 10th - 13th April 2017. Video
  11. Quantum invariants and low-dimensional topology, MATRIX, Melbourne, Australia, 14th - 17th December 2016, Slides.
  12. Workshop on Homological Methods in Algebra and Geometry, African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Ghana, August 2016.
  13. WARTHOG, University of Oregon, 25th - 29th July 2016.
  14. Conference: Knots in Hellas, Keynote talk, Olympic Academy, Greece, 17th - 23rd July 2016, Slides.
  15. Workshop: Categorification, Universität Bonn, Germany, 16th - 20th May 2016.
  16. SwissMAP Conference, Engelberg, Switzerland, 24th - 30th January 2016.
  17. Colloquium, George Washington University, Washington DC, 13th November 2015.
  18. Workshop: Physics and mathematics of knot homologies, SCGP, Stony Brook, 1st June - 3rd June 2015. Video, Slides.
  19. Conference: Winter Braids V, Université de Pau, 16th February - 19th February 2015.
  20. Young Topology Meeting, Imperial College London, 6th June 2014.

Seminar talks

  1. Seminar talk, Uppsala Universitet, 16th July 2018.
  2. Seminar talk, The Australian National University, 18th May 2018.
  3. Seminar talk and research visit, Monash University, 7th - 9th May 2018.
  4. Seminar talk, University of Melbourne, 7th May 2018.
  5. Seminar talk, University of Southern California, 19th March 2018.
  6. Seminar talk, The Australian National University, 14th November 2017.
  7. Seminar talk, Algebra Seminar, Sydney University, 27th October 2017.
  8. Seminar talk, The Australian National University, 20th October 2017.
  9. Seminar talk and research visit, QGM, Aarhus University, 28th August - 1st September 2017.
  10. Seminar talk and research visit, Instituto Superior Técnico 22nd - 24th May 2017.
  11. Seminar talk, Universität Wien, 2nd May 2017.
  12. Seminar talk, Symplectic cut, London, 22nd March 2017.
  13. Seminar talk, Geometry Tea, Cambridge, 17th March 2017.
  14. Seminar talk, Symplectic cut, London, 15th February 2017.
  15. Seminar talk, Université de Montpellier, 1st December 2016.
  16. Seminar talk, Université catholique de Louvain, 28th November 2016.
  17. Seminar talk, Universität Wien, 30th June 2016.
  18. Seminar talk, Oberseminar Darstellungstheorie, Universität Bonn, Germany, 15th April 2016.
  19. Seminar talk, MPI Oberseminar, Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik Bonn, Germany, 14th April 2016.
  20. Seminar talk and research visit, Physics and Geometry Seminar, Caltech, 15th November - 25th November 2015.
  21. Seminar talk, Columbia University, New York, 12th November 2015.
  22. Seminar talk and research visit, Université catholique de Louvain, 22nd April - 25th April 2015.
  23. Seminar talk and research visit, Universität Zürich 17th March - 20th March 2015.
  24. Seminar talk, Durham University, 29th January 2015.
  25. Seminar talk, Differential Geometry and Topology Seminar, University of Cambridge, 28th January 2015.
  26. Seminar talk and research visit, QGM, Aarhus University, 12th January - 17th January 2015.
  27. Seminar talk, Institut de Mathématiques de Jussieu-Paris Rive Gauche (IMJ-PRG), 4th December 2014.
  28. Seminar talk, Université de Genève, 27th November 2014.
  29. Seminar talk and research visit, QGM, Aarhus University, 8th July - 12th July 2014.
  30. Seminar talk, Erwin Schrödinger Institut, 30th June 2014.

Other events

  1. Conference: "Future directions in representation theory", University of Sydney, 4th - 8th December 2017.
  2. INI 3-manifold workshop, Isaac Newton Institute, Cambridge, 30th January - 3rd February 2017.
  3. Workshop on Knots and Links in Biological and Soft Matter Systems, ICTP, 26th - 30th September 2016.
  4. ECSTATIC 2, Imperial College London, 14th - 16th June 2016.
  5. AMS International Meeting, Porto, 10th June - 13th June 2015.
  6. Categorification in Algebra, Geometry and Physics (A conference in honor of the 60th Birthday of Christian Blanchet), IESC Corsica, 4th May - 8th May 2015.
  7. Algebraic Lie theory and representation theory, LMS and Clay institute research school, University of Glasgow, 25th August - 29th August 2014.
  8. Quantum Curves and Quantum Knot Invariants, Banff International Research Station, 15th June - 20th June 2014.
  9. Categorification and geometric representation theory , Centre de recherches mathématiques, Université de Montréal, 9th June - 13th June 2014.
  10. Topology in Low Dimensions, LMS Short Course, Durham University, 26th August - 30th August 2013.
  11. Physics and Mathematics of Link Homology, Séminaire de Mathématiques Supérieures, Centre de recherches mathématiques, Université de Montréal, 24th June - 5th July 2013.


  1. MATH1013, first year linear algebra, The Australian National University, Semester 2, 2018.
  2. INI winter school tutorial, Isaac Newton Institute, Cambridge, January 2017.
  3. London Taught Course Center Intensive Course Introduction to Khovanov homology, November 2016.
  4. ESI Simons Lecture Series Knot homologies and higher representation theory, October 2016.
  5. Series of talks on Khovanov homology, TAKTIC Seminar, Imperial College London, November - December 2015.
  6. Supervisor for undergraduate Geometry (Part IB) and Algebraic Topology (Part II), University of Cambridge, 2012-2015.
  7. Repetitorium Analysis, Universität Wien, 2010-2011.
  8. Seminars on measure theory and analysis, Universität Wien, 2010-2011.

Research student supervision

  1. Hazel Browne, undergraduate summer research (co-supervisor), The Australian National University, 2018.
  2. Sam Osborne, MSc project, Imperial College London, 2017.

Extracurricular activities:

  • Sailing: I am a skipper in the Cambridge University Yacht Club and I have been a main sail trimmer in the Cambridge University Yacht Racing Team, for which I have received a Cambridge Half Blue.
  • Running: In October 2017 I was part of a team from the Mathematical Sciences Institute which won Division 5 of Inward Bound, an overnight adventure footrace over roughly 50km in mountainous terrain.
  • Other stuff: I am interested in nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament. Here is a great podcast about these topics.
MSI Team for Inward Bound
Punt sailing in Cambridge
Last update: 14th August 2018