Personal profile

Research interests

I am primarily interested in optimisation and machine learning. Within these areas, I have particular experience developing and using biologically-inspired methods, including evolutionary algorithms, swarm computing, and neural networks. I am always keen to apply my research to important real world problems, and previously this has included problems at the interface between computer science and biomedicine, for example developing tools to support the clinical management of neurodegenerative disease patients. However, I am also interested in broader applications, and recently this has included work in the areas of security and robotics.


I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science, and also a member of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics. I have MEng and PhD degrees from the University of York, awarded in 1999 and 2003 respectively. Following my PhD, I held an ERCIM Fellowship at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. I then worked for 8 years as a researcher at the University of York, before moving to Heriot-Watt in 2013. I am an Associate Editor of BioSystems, and am on the editorial board of Genetic Programming and Evolvable Machines. I am a Senior Member of the IEEE, and a member of the IEEE Technical Committee on Bioinformatics and Bioengineering.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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  • Humies Gold Award

    Lones, Michael Adam (Recipient), Alty, Jane E. (Recipient), Cosgrove, Jeremy (Recipient), Duggan-Carter, Philippa (Recipient), Jamieson, Stuart (Recipient), Naylor, Rebecca F. (Recipient), Turner, Andrew J. (Recipient) & Smith, Stephen L. (Recipient), Jul 2018

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)