Short biographies of attendees

Laurence Lessard-PhillipsLaurence Lessard-Phillips is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Research into Superdiversity, University of Birmingham. She previously worked at the University of Manchester and the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute. Her research interests include the perceptions, measurement, and dimensionality of immigrant adaptation; ethnic inequalities in education and the labour market; the use of agent-based models related to immigration and diversity; the transnational behaviour across immigrant generations; and social inequalities and social mobility. She is currently leading an ESRC-funded research project investigating the role of family capital on socio-economic and civic-political inclusion in Canada and Britain. Website: Institute for Research into Superdiversity

Bruce EdmondsBruce Edmonds is Professor of Social Simulation and Director of the Centre for Policy Modelling, which has a world-leading reputation in the field of social simulation. His research covers all aspects of how to use computer simulation in order to help understand social phenomena, especially in complex situations and on policy-relevant issues. He co-edited the first handbook in the field (Edmonds & Meyer 2013) for which a second edition is already scheduled. He instigated and designed the £2.7M UK project on the “Social Complexity of Immigration and Diversity” (SCID). Centre for Policy Modelling website:

David HalesDavid Hales is a computer scientist and visiting academic at the Centre for Policy Modelling in Manchester. He has an interest in cultural evolutionary processes related to groups, networks and cooperation. A specific focus is the self-organising characteristics of simple cultural markers (or tags) that can be observed and imitated. Tag models have various interpretations applied to them (including, for example, ethnocentrism in the Hammond and Axelrod model). A more general focus is how group properties emerge from individual behaviour and individual behaviour is shaped by, and perpetuates, group properties. Ideas in this realm relate to conceptions of rationality, morality, agency and evolution. Personal website:

                  NeurmannMartin Neumann studied Social Sciences, Mathematics, and Philosophy. He holds a PhD in philosophy with a thesis on the history of probability. After a post doc project about the epistemology of social simulation he joined the project EMIL on simulating norm innovation at the University of Bayreuth. Subsequently he was assistant professor for sociology at the RWTH Aachen University. There he worked mainly on ethnic conflicts. Then he joined the project GLODERS on the norm regulating extortion rackets and organized crime at the University of Koblenz. Currently research associate at the Jacobs University Bremen at a project on opinion dynamics and collective decisions. Webpage:

                  FelicianiThomas Feliciani is a PhD student at the Sociology department of the University of Groningen (the Netherlands). His research interests include social influence, opinion polarization, agent-based modeling, ethnic diversity, and radical-right.

Matt KasmanMatt Kasman is a research associate at the Brookings Institution Center on Social Dynamics and Policy. He received his undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Boston University and, after working for software startups that were sold to Microsoft, Google, and Blackbaud, obtained a Masters in Politics and Education from Columbia University. He received his doctorate in Educational Policy at Stanford University in 2014. His dissertation explores how policy interacts with geography and decision-making to generate patterns in student enrollment over time in a large urban school district. Through both his doctoral research and work at Brookings he has gained extensive experience in applying complex systems approaches to educational policy analysis, public health topics, and biological systems. His current research interests include childhood obesity prevention efforts, food systems, literacy development, social diffusion, school choice, affirmative action in higher education, teacher labor markets, educational equity, tobacco regulatory policy, and adaptive decision-making.

                  LoughranThomas Loughran. Tom Loughran is a Lecturer in Electoral Politics at the University of Manchester.  He completed a PhD analysing the mechanisms through which individuals convert their values into vote preferences in 2016 and was previously research assistant on the SCID Project in the Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research at University of Manchester.

Huw VaseyHuw Vasey is a Research Associate in the Multilingual Manchester team in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, and a member of the Manchester Migration Lab, both at the University of Manchester. He is a social anthropologist and human geographer whose work has focused on international migration and processes of adaptation and change post-migration, including labour market integration, inter-ethnic marriage and community diversity, and language use and needs in super-diverse cities. This has involved using methods ranging from ethnography to big data analysis, via agent-based modelling. Huw also has an interest in how complexity theory can be used in developing social science methodologies and social theory. He is currently working on the Multilingual Communities strand of the AHRC funded Open World Research Initiative. Information on previous work is available at

                  JassonFredrik Jansson is a research fellow at the Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution at Stockholm University and a Senior Lecturer at Mälardalen University. He holds degrees in Mathematics, Computer Science and English Language, and has an interest in the mathematical modelling of human behaviour, in particular related to groups, and cultural evolution. The models often incorporate empirical data and are tested through surveys and experiments. Personal website:

                  UrselmansLinda Urselmans. My current project involves modelling responses to migration. I am interested in the interaction between migrants and the citizens of the host countries. Building on my previous paper, I am investigating whether positive or negative feedback loops can cause levels of acceptance or rejection of migrants to change. The model builds on theories of social contact and conflict. Especially in the wake of changing sentiments towards migrants in Europe, I plan to validate the model against empirical data. In general, my research focuses on complex adaptive systems (such as social systems) with autonomous agents. I use Agent-based modelling to approach social questions, but not just in Political Science; I'm currently collaborating on a project involving Chimpanzee grooming and how to incorporate field work data in an Agent-Based model. Personal webpage:

Ruth MeyerRuth Meyer is a research fellow at the Centre for Policy Modelling, Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research interests include agent-based simulation, spatial modelling and simulation methodologies in general. She has over ten years of experience modelling complex social systems during her PhD at Hamburg University and subsequently at the CPM. She co-edited the handbook on “Simulating Social Complexity” with Bruce Edmonds for Springer in 2013 and is currently working on its second edition. Website:

Cobus van
                  RooyenCobus van Rooyen is a PhD Researcher at Birkbeck, University of London and his research concerns the studying of segregation patterns and related dynamics of the City of Cape Town, through the use of agent-based modelling and segregation metrics. His background is in Urban Planning and Geographic Information Science.  He holds a Bachelor’s degree (1996-1999) in Town & Regional Planning from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (formerly Cape Technikon) and a Master's degree (2005-2006) in Geographic Information Science from the University of London.  He currently functions as full-time GIS consultant in ADS&T (Aerospace, Defence, Security and Technology) at Atkins Global. Further interests involve the study of complex adaptive systems and the concepts of urban emergence and evolution. Personal website:

                  BonakdarBenjamin Bonakdar is a PhD student at the Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany and is employed as research assistant at the Institute for Macroeconomics, where the professorship is held by Prof. Dr. Michael Roos. Benjamin’s research interests are in the field of complexity and computational macroeconomics, where the interaction of agents and the emergence of macro patterns are of great relevance. For him, interdisciplinary projects stand in focus, for which reason he works on the issue of residential segregation in urban areas in his PhD thesis in order to combine research methods from economics and social science. He familiarized himself with these methods during his Master’s program at the University of Nuremberg in Germany, where he attained theoretical knowledge in modern macro- and labor market economics. First applications of these research methods have been conducted in short time positions at the ifo Institute (Munich) and at the Institute for Employment Research (Nuremberg). In his Master’s Thesis he analyzed the international spillover effects of the German Hartz reforms in the European Union conducted in a computational model. Website of the Institute for Macroeconomics, Ruhr-University Bochum:

Edmund Chattoe-BrownEdmund Chattoe-Brown is lecturer in Sociology at University of Leicester. His research deals with decision-making in sociologically important contexts. By contrast, he is also interested in evolutionary theories of change in which practices are selected the social environment rather than chosen by individuals. In support of these interests, he has wide experience in research methods, particularly computer simulation but also qualitative research, social network analysis and experiments. His theoretical and methodological interests have developed in parallel with several empirical case studies on household money management, secondhand markets, adaptation of farming practices, ethnic disadvantage in labour markets and social networks in criminal activity and drug use. Webpage:

Pablo LucasPablo Lucas is a Lecturer / Assistant Professor at the University College Dublin, Ireland, with research focused on computational social science, particularly experimental design using agent-based models and data analysis. Website:

Stephan OnggoBhakti Stephan Onggo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Management Science at Lancaster University Management School (LUMS). His research interests lie in the areas of simulation modelling methodology (conceptual modelling, agent-based simulation, discrete-event simulation, hybrid simulation, symbiotic simulation) with applications in operations and supply chain management (e.g. hospital, manufacturing, transportation, warehouse) and social science (e.g. social risk perception). Currently, he is the Associate Editor for the Journal of Simulation. Webpage:

Linda MutungaLinda Mutunga currently works as a Decision and Market Consultant in EMEA market, in addition to studying for a MSc at University of Edinburgh in the area of Data Science with a particular interest in Epistemics and Social Policy. Prior to this, Linda worked in other blue chip companies, including the BBC as a Producer and Reporter for BBC News, Sport and Culture. As an entrepreneur, Linda was Nominated for an Institute of Directors Award in 2015.