The Committee

Chair:  Dr Emma Suckling MInstP

Emma Suckling is a postdoctoral research scientist within NCAS-Climate at the Department of Meteorology, University of Reading.  Her research interests are focused on understanding predictability of weather and climate, which includes evaluating forecasts from climate models, quantifying sources of uncertainty, developing empirical models and extracting useful information from imperfect forecasts. She has a background in physics, having pursued both her undergraduate degree and a PhD in theoretical nuclear physics at the University of Surrey. In 2010 she transitioned into climate science, taking up a postdoctoral position at the Centre for the Analysis of Time Series at the London School of Economics.


Honorary Secretary: Mr Matthew Garrod

Matthew Garrod is a PhD student at the Mathematics of Planet Earth Centre for Doctoral Training at Imperial College London. He holds an undergraduate MPhys degree in Physics with Theoretical Physics from the University of Manchester. His MPhys project involved using methods from statistical mechanics to model growth and competition in bacterial populations. In the summer of 2014 he carried out research into the evolution of sex determination mechanisms within The University of Manchester’s Computational and Evolutionary Biology Research Group. His current research project involves studying models of spatially embedded random networks and their applications in the analysis of social diffusion processes. His research interests fall broadly within the domains of applied mathematics and theoretical physics.


Treasurer: Dr Mark Hardman MInstP             

Mark Hardman is a researcher and teacher educator at UCL Insitute of Education.  He previously ran programmes at King’s College London, Imperial College and Canterbury Christ Church University, training physics teachers, particularly those with a research background. His research centres on describing classrooms as complex systems, and the implications of this.  He also has a pet tortoise.


Dr Jean Boulton CPhys FInstP

Jean Boulton is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Social and Policy Sciences at the University of Bath and a Visiting Fellow at the Cranfield School of Management. She is also a Fellow of the Institute of Physics. Her research interests and teaching focus around complexity theory and its application to the social sciences, policy and strategy.

Jean, with colleagues from Cranfield,  published ‘Embracing Complexity’ in 2015  She maintains a website and blog on the topic at


Dr Nicholas Watkins MInstP       

Nick Watkins trained as a theoretical physicist at UCL and Sussex.  During his career at the Universities of Sussex and Warwick, and the British Antarctic Survey, his interests evolved from his PhD on time dependent spin Langevin models of decoherence, via experimental space physics, to his current highly interdisciplinary work on complex systems which have included space plasmas, climate and animal foraging. A common thread has been the importance  of fluctuations.  Informed in part by his own experience, he has become very interested in the role that the diversity in human imagery and memory has played in shaping the history of science, and in particular, the life of Benoit Mandelbrot, the father of fractals. He has recently been a senior visiting scientist at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, and the University of Potsdam. He currently holds visiting professorships in the Centre for the Analysis of Time Series at the LSE and the Faculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology of the Open University. He is also a visiting fellow at the Centre for Fusion, Space and Astrophysics at Warwick.


Prof Tom Mullin MInstP

Tom Mullin is an Emeritus Professor of Physics from the University of Manchester. He is one of the founders of the interdisciplinary research initiative, the Manchester Centre for Nonlinear Dynamics. He was the inaugural chair of the IOP, NCPG. His research interests are in experimental studies of instabilities and pattern formation in fluid and granular flows and the buckling of  elastic structures. Much of his research has been carried out in collaboration with Mathematicians.  He is now a visitor at the Mathematical Institute at Oxford University and CATS at the LSE.  He also has a small laboratory in his garden shed.


Dr Finn Box MInstP

Finn Box is a post-doctoral researcher at the Mathematical Institute of Oxford University. His research sits at the interface between experimentation and mathematical modelling and focuses on elastic instabilities, fluid flows and fluid-structure interactions. The results of his research find application in both natural and industrial settings across a broad spectrum of length scales. Presently, he is studying the deformation of floating elastic sheets; a scenario relevant to both a frog sitting upon a lily pad and the gravitational loading of the Earth’s mantle by volcanic sea mounts. He has a PhD in Nonlinear Physics from the University of Manchester.


Recent Committee Members