The Committee

Chair:  Dr Emma Suckling MInstP

Emma Suckling is I 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 runs 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.


Ordinary Members:

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.


Dr William Nuttall CPhys FInstP

Bill Nuttall is Professor of Energy at the Open University. He has previously been a Senior Lecturer in Technology Policy at the University of Cambridge, where he was also the Director of the Management of Technology and Innovation (MoTI) Programme and Assistant Director of the Electricity Policy Research Group. Bill’s research centres upon issues concerning energy technologies and public policy. A major area of activity relates to nuclear energy, the nuclear fuel cycle and possibilities for advanced nuclear energy technologies. His research includes the application of System Dynamics especially to issues of resource depletion. He has also undertaken research using techniques of spatial agent-based simulation.


Dr Tobias Galla MInstP

Tobias Galla is a Senior Lecturer in the Complex Systems and Statistical Physics Group at the University of Manchester (UK). He holds a Diplom (Physik) from the University of Muenster/Germany (1999), and a DPhil (PhD) in theoretical physics from the University of Oxford/UK (2004).  He works on the statistical mechanics of complex systems, in particular stochastic dynamics of agent-based models, with applications in biology, pattern formation, economics, game theory and social dynamics.  Galla has (co-) organized two three-day meetings on complexity for UK and international postgraduate students, as well as five one-day mini-symposia during the spring of 2012 on different topics in complexity science (e.g. stochastic pattern formation, noise in biochemical systems, mathematical modelling in finance), and a three-day retreat for students and researchers at the University of Manchester. He has given public engagement talks to more than 3,000 Sixth Form pupils.


Dr Alain Nogaret CPhys MInstP

Dr Alain Nogaret is a senior lecturer at the University of Bath, where he develops artificial neurons and neural network hardware.  His current research focuses on the dynamic properties of neurons that compete within networks, stochastic dynamics, the homotopic programming of neural hardware and the development of artificial central pattern generators as new medical therapies to artificially control biological rhythms e.g. respiratory sinus arrhythmia in rats.


Mr Bernd Taschler

Bernd Taschler is currently a PhD student at the Centre for Complexity Science, University of Warwick. His research interests are centred around modelling of neuroimaging data, with a particular focus on magnetic resonance imaging of multiple sclerosis. For his work on MS, Bernd is collaborating with the Medical Image Analysis Center at the University Hospital Basel, Switzerland. Before moving to Warwick, Bernd obtained a Diplom in theoretical physics from the University of Technology in Graz, Austria, where he worked on strongly correlated many-body systems. He has spent a year as an exchange student at Inha University, South Korea, as a visiting member of the Nuclear Theory Group and has been a teaching assistant for several undergraduate physics courses. He also knows how to play saxophone.