Professor James Marshall

Department of Computer Science

Professor of Theoretical and Computational Biology

Member of the Complex Systems Modelling research group

James Marshall profile photo
+44 114 222 1832

Full contact details

Professor James Marshall
Department of Computer Science
Regent Court (DCS)
211 Portobello
S1 4DP

I am an interdisciplinary researcher interested in behaviour, its mechanistic bases, and its evolution. With various colleagues I apply a variety of mathematical and computational approaches to understanding how and why behaviours evolve.

I am also interested in what engineering disciplines may learn from this study. Particular research interests include collective social insect behaviour, the evolution of social behaviour, and the application of decision theory to animal behaviour. Some of my research makes use of robotics to test these ideas.

Research interests

My research interests cover modelling of collective behaviour, particularly in social insects, evolutionary theory, decision theory, robotics, and theoretical neuroscience



  • Marshall JAR (2015) Social Evolution and Inclusive Fitness Theory: An Introduction. Princeton University Press. RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles


  • Cope AJ, Ahmed A, Isa F & Marshall JAR (2019) MiniBee: A Minature MAV for the Biomimetic Embodiment of Insect Brain Models, Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems (pp. 76-87). Springer International Publishing RIS download Bibtex download
  • Cope A, Sabo C, Yavuz E, Gurney K, Marshall J, Nowotny T & Vasilaki E (2013) The Green Brain Project – Developing a Neuromimetic Robotic Honeybee, Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems (pp. 362-363). Springer Berlin Heidelberg RIS download Bibtex download
  • Marshall J & Neumann F (2013) Foundations of Search: A Perspective from Computer Science In Todd PM, Hill TT & Robbins TW (Ed.), Cognitive Search: Evolution, Algorithms and the Brain MIT Press RIS download Bibtex download
  • Schooler L, Burgess C, Goldstone RL, Fu W, Gavrilets S, Lazer D, Marshall J, Neumann F & Wiener JM (2012) Search environments, representation, and encoding In Todd PM, Hills TT & Robbins TW (Ed.), Cognitive Search: Evolution, Algorithms and the Brain MIT Press RIS download Bibtex download
  • Marshall JAR, Franks NR, Dornhaus A & Dechaume Moncharmont FX (2009) The Dawn of a Golden Age in Mathematical Insect Sociobiology In Gadau J, Fewell J & Wilson EO (Ed.), Organization of insect societies: from genome to sociocomplexity (pp. 437-458). Harvard Univ Pr RIS download Bibtex download
  • Marshall JAR & Franks NR (2007) Computer modelling in behavioral and evolutionary ecology: whys and wherefores. In Laubichler MD & Müller GB (Ed.), Modeling biology: Structures, Behaviors, Evolution (pp. 335-354). The MIT Press RIS download Bibtex download
  • Marshall JAR, Bogacz R, Dornhaus A, Planqué R, Kovacs T & Franks NR () On optimal decision making in brains and social insect colonies, Modelling Natural Action Selection (pp. 500-522). Cambridge University Press RIS download Bibtex download

Conference proceedings papers


Software / Code

Theses / Dissertations

  • Marshall JAR An Investigation into Kin Selection and Reciprocal Cooperation in a Viscous Population. De Montfort University. RIS download Bibtex download




Current grants

Previous grants

Professional activities
  • Head of the Complex Systems Modelling, research group
  • Editorial Board, Swarm Intelligence (2017-present)
  • Associate Editor: Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution (2013-2017)
  • EPSRC Peer Review College Member (2010-present)
  • Member of the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship Panel College (2019-present)
  • Associate Editor - PLoS one - 2009-2020
  • Associate Editor - PLoS Computational Biology - 2020-present
  • Chief Scientific Officer at Opteran Technologies