Electronics and Computer Science (ECS), University of Southampton

Electronics and Computer Science (ECS)

Prof Seth Bullock

Photograph of Prof Seth Bullock
http://widgets.ecs.soton.ac.uk/image.php?id=person_9092&maxw=250&maxh=300&corners=0&edge=1&checksum=809bfe7269b7edd1d9fa46321fe71005Photograph of Prof Seth Bullock
Prof Seth Bullock

ECS, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering
University of Southampton
Southampton, United Kingdom. SO17 1BJ

Position: Academic staff in Agents, Interaction and Complexity
Extension: 25776
Telephone: Work (Voice): +44 (0)23 8059 5776
Email: sgb@ecs.soton.ac.uk
Homepage: http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk/sgb/
URI: http://id.ecs.soton.ac.uk/person/9092 [browse]

Interests: artificial intelligence, artificial life, behavioural ecology, bio-inspired computation, coevolution, cognitive science, complex systems theory, complexity science, computational economics, evolution, evolutionary algorithms, evolutionary biology, evolutionary computation, evolutionary game theory, evolutionary simulation modelling, experimental economics, grid computing, individual-based modelling, learning, life sciences interface, major evolutionary transitions, modularity, networks science, philosophy of biology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, rationality, self-organisation, sexual selection, signalling, simulation modelling methodology, simulation models, simulation of adaptive behaviour, social networks, tea drinking, the handicap principle, theoretical biology


A short CV is here [updated Jan 2015]. A longer CV is here [updated Jan 2015].

After gaining a BA in cognitive science and a DPhil (PhD) in evolutionary simulation modelling from the School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences at Sussex University (supervised by Dave Cliff and Phil Husbands), I spent two years in Berlin at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development working with Peter Todd on simulating the evolution of adaptive decision-making behaviour in people and other animals. In 1999 I took up a five-year University Research Fellowship at the University of Leeds and became a Lecturer there in 2004. In October 2005 I joined the University of Southampton as Senior Lecturer, and helped to found the Science and Engineering of Natural Systems (SENSe) research group.  In 2009 I became head of the SENSe group, and also became Director of Southampton's new Institute for Complex Systems Simulation (ICSS). In 2010 I became co-director of the University Strategic Research Group in Complexity in Real World Contexts (USRG Complexity), for which I run a Complex Systems Simulation Seminar Series (CS^4). In 2011 I was promoted to Professor of Computer Science and helped found the Agents, Interaction and Complexity (AIC) research group.

Research Interests

My principal research interest is evolutionary simulation modelling: the application of evolutionary modelling techniques developed within artificial intelligence (e.g., genetic algorithms) to problems within evolutionary biology (e.g., the evolution of communication).  I am also interested in self-organisation and adaptation in engineered systems, such as computational ecosystems, infrastructure systems, etc., and the potential for the modelling techniques that I use to be applied to problems from many other disciplines, e.g., linguistics, economics, psychology, geography, anthropology, etc.

Some of my additional research interests include:

  • modelling tools related to the evolutionary simulation modelling approach such as evolutionary computation, evolutionary and economic game theory, artificial neural networks, complexity science, networks science and evolutionary theory
  • philosophical and methodological issues raised by evolutionary simulation modelling - philosophy of science and philosophy of biology
  • engineering applications of evolutionary computation such as evolutionary and coevolutionary design paradigms
  • areas of evolutionary biology, such as the handicap principle and signalling, sexual selection, and coevolution
  • psychological topics, such as the evolution of cognition and decision-making, rationality, and experimental economics
  • research areas sometimes termed: the simulation of adaptive behaviour, evolutionary robotics, complex systems theory, individual-based models, synthetic psychology, biology and behavioural ecology


  • Highfield Campus, Building 32, Room 4051



DPhil "Evolutionary Simulation Models" (Sussex University, 1997)
BA (Hons) "Psychology and Computer Models" (Sussex University, 1993)

Other Professional Activities

  • I am a member of the EPSRC College.
  • I am associate editor of the journal Adaptive Behavior.
  • I am co-editor of a special issue of Artificial Life on the theme of Visualization for Complex Adaptive Systems.
  • I am co-editor of special issues of the journal Complexity on the themes of Spatial Organisation and Complexity Science for Social Policy.
  • I have carried out consultancy for UK Government's Department of Trade and Industry and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
  • I have served as external examiner for the award of PhD, and was external examiner for the MSc Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems at the University of Sussex.

Conferences Attended

I am a regular member of the programme committees for the European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL), the International Conference on Artificial Life (ALIFE), and the International Conference on the Simulation of Adaptive Behavior (SAB), and sometimes have also attended biology conferences such as those organised by the International Society for Behavioral Ecology (ISBE) and British Ecological Society (BES).

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