Simon Powers

Simon Powers

Dr Simon Powers



My current research interests involve modelling social interactions using analytical and agent-based models. I approach this both from the perspective of economics, and by using evolutionary algorithms to model the spread of culturally-transmitted behaviours (social learning) in populations. I am particularly interested in the processes by which social institutions in human groups evolve over time, and on the conditions under which institutions can promote cooperation in large-scale groups of self-interested agents. 
I also maintain interests in applying artificial immune systems to intrusion detection, and in neural networks for both machine learning and as models of behaviour.
I previously held postdoctoral positions with Prof. Laurent Lehmann at the Department of Ecology & Evolution, University of Lausanne, and with Dr. Joanna Bryson at the Department of Computer Science, University of Bath. My Ph.D. thesis is titled "Social niche construction: Evolutionary explanations for cooperative group formation", and was supervised by Prof. Richard Watson at the School of Electronics & Computer Science, University of Southampton.

Research Areas




Conference Activity

  • Programme committee member for ALife XV: The 15th International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems
  • Programme committee member for GECCO 2016: The Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference
  • Programme committee member for SASO 2017: 11th IEEE International Conference on Self-Adaptive and Self-Organizing Systems
  • Programme committee member for ECAL 2017: 14th European Conference on Artificial Life
  • Programme committee member for GECCO 2017: The Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference


Research Degree External Examining

  • Ph.D. external examiner at University of Southampton
  • Ph.D. external examiner at University of Manchester


Invited Speaker

  • Seminar at Keele University
  • Seminar at Aston University
  • Keynote speaker at The Second Workshop on Social Learning and Cultural Evolution (SLACE 2017)


Editorial Activity

  • Associate Editor for Adaptive Behavior


Current Post Grad projects