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
   • Morphogenesis
   • Morphogenetic
   • Neuroscience
   • Evolution & Ecology
Activities, Grants
Education, Career

Research in Complex Systems  
In the vast land of complex systems, I commute back and forth between computational biology and bio-inspired computing. On the way, I founded the field of morphogenetic engineering (ME), which explores new methodologies to model and create complex architectures that self-organize from a swarm of heterogeneous agents, in particular by development. Such emergent structures can be modular robots, synthetic organisms, or large autonomic networks of computing devices. ME could also explain brain representations based on dynamic "neural shapes" in phase space, formed by myriads of correlated spikes. Additionally, I am interested in the evolutionary mechanisms leading to diversity, and how they can help us understand and automate the design of ME systems. More →
Core scientific network
Current students  More →
PhD (2017-20)
TBA (4/2017)

Mechanogenetic model of embryogenesis from 4D microscopy images
PhD (2017-20)
TBA (3/2017)

Bio-inspired morphogenetic swarm robotics
PhD (2016-19)
Nicolas Toussaint

Morphogenetic engineering of socio-technical complex systems
Current close collaborators
Martyn Amos, Manchester Met, UK (novel computation)
Paul Bourgine, Ecole Polytechnique, Paris (complex systems)
Matthew Crossley, Manchester Met, UK (games design)
Silvester Czanner, Manchester Met, UK (computer graphics)
Elizabeth de Freitas, Manchester Met, UK (math education)
Bruce Edmonds, Manchester Met, UK (policy modeling)
Isabelle Guyon, Université Paris-Saclay (machine learning)
Liangxiu Han, Manchester Met, UK (big data processing)
Jean-Marc Montanier, Aldebaran, France (evol robotics)
Emma Norling, Manchester Met, UK (social intelligence)
Nadine Peyriéras, CNRS, France (developmental biology)
Jon Timmis, University of York, UK (swarm robotics)
Past close collaborators, co-authors/editors, co-supervisors, and co-organizers
Arnaud Banos, CNRS, Paris (computational geography)
Wolfgang Banzhaf, Memorial University (evolutionary comput)
Jake Beal, BBN Tech & MIT, Boston, MA (spatial computing)
Mark Bedau, Reed College, Portland, OR (artificial life)
Hugues Bersini, Université Libre de Bruxelles (artificial life)
Elie Bienenstock, Brown University (comput neuroscience)
Nicolas Bredeche, Université Paris 6 (swarm robotics)
Marco Dorigo, Université Libre de Bruxelles (swarm robotics)
Jean-Louis Giavitto, IRCAM, Paris (spatial computing)
Guy Hoelzer, University of Nevada, Reno (evolutionary biology)
Olivier Michel, Université Paris-Est (comput synthetic biology)
Jean Petitot, Ecole Polytechnique, Paris (cognitive science)
Jeremy Pitt, Imperial College London (pervasive adaptation)
Hiroki Sayama, Binghamton University, NY (bioengineering)
Susan Stepney, University of York, UK (natural computing)
Chris Trengove, KU Leuven, Belgium (comput neuroscience)
Mihaela Ulieru, IMPACT Institute (techno-social networks)
Franck Varenne, Sorbonne/University of Rouen (epistemology)
C. von der Malsburg, Goethe-University (comp neuroscience)
Alan Winfield, University of West England (swarm robotics)
Computational models of collective cell behavior in 2D/3D, such as organism development (embryogenesis), tumor growth, or bacterial mats (synthetic biology)
•  MECAGEN – Mechanogenetic Model and Simulation of Biological Morphogenesis
•  BIOEMERG – BioEmergences: Reconstructing the Physiome of Model Organisms
•  SYNBIOTIC – Synthetic Biological Systems: From Design to Compilation
Morphogenetic Engineering
Designing decentralized, autonomous systems inspired by morphogenesis, with applications in swarm robotics, distributed software, and ICT networks or power grids
•  EMBENG – Embryomorphic Engineering (2D)
•  MAPDEVO – Modular Architecture by Programmable Development (3D)
•  PROGNET – Network Growth by Programmable Attachment (nD)
Mesoscopic emergence, interaction and composition of spatiotemporal patterns of activity and connectivity in large-scale spiking neural networks
•  SYNDEVO – Synfire Chain Development and Composition
•  WAVEMAT – Wave-Based Shape Storage and Matching
•  COGMORPH – Morphodynamical Models of Cognitive Linguistics
Evolution & Ecology
Agent-based, genetic programming or grammar models of population dynamics combining the short and long time scales of individual interactions and evolution
•  EVOSPACE – Evolutionary Dynamics and Speciation in Space
•  DIVPLANT – Emergent Diversity in Communities of Virtual Plants
•  HETCA – Long-Term Evolutionary Dynamics in Heterogeneous Cellular Automata