Core Team

Ana Teixeira de Melo (principal investigator)

Ana Teixeira de Melo is researcher at the Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra in the research group POSTRADE. She was awarded a PhD in Clinical Psychology, by the University of Coimbra, and the title of Specialist in Clinical Psychology, with Advanced Specialty in Community Psychology, by the Portuguese Order of Psychologists. Her main research focus is on processes of human flourishing and well-being, positive change and development and resilience, in Families and Communities, especially targeting contexts of multiple risks and challenges and of child protection and promotion. She adopts a Systems and Complexity-Informed approach to the study of Family Processes. She has conducted action-based and applied research focused on the development, implementation and evaluation of models, resources and tools for family assessment and intervention. She is interested in the field of Complexity studies from a theoretical, methodological and applied point of view, in relation to processes of change in complex systems. Her research aims at the development and evaluation of theoretical models, resources and strategies for the practice of 'Complex Thinking' applied to the management of change in complex systems, particularly social human systems, in the coupling with their environments. Additionally, her work encompasses themes related to Interdisciplinary Methodologies and Methods and Inter/Transdisciplinarity processes, in relation to abductive modes of knowing, and other themes of the Philosophy of Sciences (e.g. Epistemologies). She is an elected member of the Council  (2019-2022) and of the Executive Committee (2020-2023) of the Complex Systems Society, Academic Editor of the journal Complexity (from 2021) and Associate, since 2016, of York Cross-Disciplinary Centre for Systems Analysis, where she was a visiting academic (2016-2018).

Leo Caves (co-investigator)

Leo Caves has a PhD in Computational Biophysics and throughout his career has operated at the interface of the physical, biological and computational sciences. Formerly a Senior Lecturer at the University of York, he worked in both the Departments of Chemistry and Biology. He is a co-founder and associate of the York Cross-disciplinary Centre for Systems Analysis (YCCSA). He is a collaborator of the Centre for the Philosophy of Sciences of the University of Lisbon (CFCUL). His research experience encompasses computational biophysics, data science and evolutionary computation. He has experience in multivariate data and network analyses, as well as a variety of simulation and visualisation methods. He offers biological perspectives on complex systems and seeks to support more systemic and complex approaches to real world issues through broad and deep interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration. He is interested in complex thinking and in the investigation and facilitation of interdisciplinary processes. More recently he has been working within the domain of the Philosophy of Biology, integrating themes of process philosophy with systems and relational biology, cybernetics and coordination dynamics amongst others. He has a broad interest in the Philosophy of Science.

Phil Garnett (co-investigator)

Philip Garnett is a Senior Lecturer of Systems and Organisation in the School of Management, University of York. He is interested in the application of complex systems theory in organisations, and how organisational culture, memory, and knowledge can be theorised as an emergent property of the system itself. He combines modelling and simulation techniques (agent based modelling, and network analysis) with the analysis of information and its flow (natural language processing and machine learning/AI) to investigate how organisations and society works (and fails), and how interventions could be made. He is also interested in the power of information and its consequences for our privacy and liberty, and conducts research on cyber and information security. Philip also has a philosophical interest in complexity theory and complexity thinking.

Rita Campos

Researcher from the Centre for Social Studies from the University of Coimbra (CES-UC), member of the Research Group Science, Economy and Society (NECES) and of the Workshop of Ecology and Society (ECOSOC), and co-coordinator of the outreach program "Ciência Viva at CES" and of the Methodologies Series "Wheel of Knowledge". Has a PhD in Biology from the University of Porto, on evolutionary biology and population genetics. Since 2009 is interested in the areas of Science Communication and Non-formal Science Education, and working exclusively on these areas since 2016. Her current research interests are centred in the study and production of science communication, active learning and public engagement in and with science (citizen science) tools about the relations between biodiversity and human health, interlinks between systems (natural, social, cultural…) and (environmental) sustainability. She is interested in interdisciplinary approaches and methodologies that enhance the inclusion and participation of the publics, such as context-based education or the visual methodologies, and in mixed methods of evaluation of the produced tools. Maintains regular collaboration with national and international institutions (CIBIO-InBIO, Science Museum of the UC, COI, UFRN). Her work has earned national and international recognition, notably the Distinction Award by the Casa das Ciências (House of Sciences) and the Fresh Ideas Scheme pass by ECSITE.

Letícia Renault de Barros

Leticia has a PhD in Psychology from the Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil, with an internship at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Liège, under the supervision of Vinciane Despret. She has developed work in the area of cognitive psychology, with special interest in the enactivist approach and embodied cognition.  She is a co-founder of the International and Multidisciplinary Research Group on Enactive Theories (GRIMTE). She also worked in the area of mental health, participating in a research/intervention project to increase the autonomy of psychiatric drugs users in the decisions regarding their treatment and health (GAM - Autonomous Management of Medication). She was part of the team of Brazilian researchers who translated, adapted and validated the Guide to Autonomous Medication Management, a tool created in Canada for social mobilization in the field of mental health. Her research interests are: enactivist approaches, participative and collaborative research methodologies, first-person methodologies and, more recently, the migratory experience. 

Advisors and consultants

We will add the names of the team of advisors and expert domain consultants below.




Former Collaborators



Anna Dewitt; Evie Clutton; Rory Macpherson participated in a sub-research project “Diffusion of Complexity Concepts: An Interdisciplinary Mapping” was conducted as an interdisciplinary group research project integrated in the York Cross-Disciplinary Centre for Systems Analysis YCCCSA) Summer School 2018.

Other collaborations

We welcome collaborations in relation to theory, empirical research and evaluations, methodological development and practice/applications. Please get in touch.