picture of James

Reader in Computational Biology
Computational Biology Group
Department of Computer Science
University of Sheffield
Regent Court / Kroto Research Institute
Twitter: @DrJimminy

I joined the University of Sheffield on October 1st 2010, moving from the Department of Computer Science, University of Bristol. I head the Behavioural and Evolutionary Theory Lab, and am affiliated with the Evolution and Behaviour Research Group in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences.

selected publications » ResearchGate profile »

Research Interests

Biologically-Inspired Algorithms, Cognitive Behaviour, Decision Theory, Evolutionary Theory, Mathematical Biology, Social Evolution, Social Insect Behaviour

Research Projects

Previous Research Projects:

Academic Service

  • Academic Editor - PLoS ONE - September 2009 - present
  • Associate Editor Frontiers in Behavioral and Evolutionary Ecology - November 2013 - present
  • EPSRC Peer Review College Member - April 2010 to March 2014
  • Proposal Reviewer - BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, NERC, NSF, Royal Society, McDonnell Foundation
  • Paper Reviewer- (invitations from over 20 journals including) American Naturalist, Behavioral Ecology, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Current Biology, Ecology Letters, Journal of Animal Ecology, Journal of Theoretical Biology, Nature Communications, PLoS Computational Biology, PLoS one, Physica A, Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, Science, Theoretical Population Biology, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, ...

Invited Talks at International Meetings and Schools

  • A Mechanism for Value-Sensitive Decision-Making. May 3rd 2013. Decision Making in Nature Workshop, Imperial College London.
  • Cross-Inhibition Improves Activity Selection. December 19th 2012. Modelling Animal Decisions Meeting, Wells.
  • Genetic Relatedness is Essential for the Evolution of Altruism. September 21st 2012. 16th Meeting on Evolutionary Biology, Marseille.
  • Optimality Theory and Voting Processes. 28th June 2012. Interdisciplinary Workshop on Collective Decisions, Paris School of Economics.
  • Optimal Collective Decision-Making in Honeybees: Novel Insights for Psychology and Neuroscience? 14th September 2011. Department of Psychology, Princeton University.
  • Ultimate Causes and the Evolution of Altruism. August 11th 2011. Theory of Cooperation Workshop. Adelboden (University of Bern).
  • Optimal Voting in Groups with Convergent Interests. March 21st 2011. AAAI Spring Symposium. Stanford University.
  • Optimality Theory in Collective Behaviour. March 17th 2011. Insect Self-Organization and Swarming Meeting. Mathematical Biosciences Institute, Ohio State University.
  • Colony-Level Cognition: Optimal Decisions, Brains, and Social Insect Colonies. July 29th 2009. 'Swarm Cognition' workshop at CogSci 2009, Amsterdam.
  • Optimal Decision-Making in Brains and Social Insect Colonies. June 20th 2008. Systems Biology of Decision-Making Meeting. Mathematical Biosciences Institute, Ohio State University.
  • Optimal Decision-Making in Brains and Social Insect Colonies. May 20th 2008. Principles of Biological Computation Meeting. Santa Fe Institute.
  • Whys and Wherefores of Computer Modelling in Behavioural Biology. 10th July 2004. Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research, Vienna.


  • My Hamilton number is 2 (Marshall, J.A.R. -> Houston, A.I. -> Hamilton, W.D.)
  • My Erdos number is no more than 4 (Marshall, J.A.R. -> Rowe, J.E. -> Dietzfelbinger, M. -> Alon, N. -> Erdős, P.)
  • I received two copies of 'Being or Nothingness' by 'Joe K' (see 'The Psychopath Test' by Ron Johnson)