René Doursat
 PhD, Habil.

Professor of Complex Systems & Deputy
   Head, Informatics Research Centre,
   School of Computing, Math & Digital Tech,
   Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

Research Affiliate, BioEmergences Lab,
   CNRS (USR3695), Gif s/Yvette, France

Steering Committee & Fmr. Director,
   Complex Systems Institute, Paris (ISC)

Officer (Secretary), Board of Directors,
   International Society for Artificial Life



Growing Adaptive

Springer 2014

Springer 2012

Peter Lang 2011
Edited Proceedings

Artificial Life
ALife'14, ECAL'15

MITPress 2014,2015
Evolution. Comp.
GECCO'12, '13

ACM 2012,2013
Artificial Life

MITPress 2011
Swarm Intell.

Springer 2010
IT Revolutions

Springer 2009

Home Page
Activities, Grants
Education, Career

Welcome to René's home page
I am a full Professor at Manchester Metropolitan University, doing research at the interface between computer science and complex systems. My focus is on computational biology and bio-inspired computing, and their mutual links. I studied physics at the École Normale Supérieure (ENS), Paris and completed my PhD in 1991 in neural networks and cognitive science. After postdocs in Germany and France, and a detour through the software industry of the San Francisco Bay Area, I returned to academia in 2004, first as a Visiting Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, then in 2006 as a Research Scientist at the Complex Systems Institute, Paris (which I directed for two years) and a Guest Lecturer at Ecole Polytechnique, Paris. In 2012, I moved to the Washington DC area, where I was formally affiliated with Drexel University and taught at the Catholic University of America, then went back to France in 2014 on a research position at CNRS, before coming to Manchester in 2016. Bio →
Selected news (January 2017)

MecaGen: new paper in Nature Communications, Jan 2017

ImageInLife: new Marie Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN), starting Jan 2017

6th International Morphogenetic Engineering Workshop (MEW), July 2016

1st Engineering & Control of Self-Organization (ECSO) e-Conference, Oct 2015
Research in Complex Systems
Theoretical &

Evolution & Ecology


& Bioengineering

Morphogenetic Engineering

Neural Computation

Genetic Programming
Selected recent publications (January 2017)
• January 2017 PAPER
Delile, J. et al. (2017) MecaGen: a cell-based computational model of embryogenesis... Nature Communications 8(13929).
• December 2016 PAPER
Villoutreix, P. et al. (2016) An integrated modelling framework...based on a cohort of digital embryos Scientific Reports 6(37438).
• June 2016 PAPER
Pascalie, J. et al. (2016) Developmental design of synthetic bacterial architectures... ACS Synthetic Biology 5(8): 842-861.
• May 2016 PAPER
Banzhaf, W. et al. (2016) Defining and simulating open-ended novelty... Theory in Biosciences 135: 131-161.
• February 2016 PAPER
Faure, E. et al. (2016) A workflow to process 3D+time microscopy images of developing organisms... Nature Communications 7(8674).
• February 2016 PAPER
Kowaliw, T. & Doursat, R. (2016) Bias-variance decomposition in genetic programming. Open Mathematics 14: 62-80.