York Centre for Complex Systems Analysis

Starch Granules
Pedigree Tree
Lorentz strange attractor

YCCSA is a community of researchers drawn from different departments developing novel mathematical, computational and analytical methods and tools for the analysis and modelling of complex systems.  


Stepney, Susan

Professor Susan Stepney
YCCSA Director

Welcome to YCCSA.  We are an open community of interdisciplinary researchers, drawn from a diverse range of departments across the University at York.  We are working together, developing and applying novel methods and tools to analyse, model, explore, and solve complex problems that cannot be tackled by one discipline alone.

Some 70 YCCSA staff and research students are co-located in purpose-built dedicated research space in the Ron Cooke Hub on the new Heslington East campus.  Other YCCSA members reside in their home departments, and are very much part of the YCCSA community.

As well as carrying out interdisciplinary research, we also reflect on the process itself, and develop new ways to help bring researchers together and bridge the gaps between disciplines.  We each bring our own different and valuable perspectives to the challenges of researching complex systems.

Do browse our site to find out more about our people, our past and current research projects, and our engagement activities and events.

Research Themes

YCCSA's research takes three broad themes within the realm of complex systems research:
  • Resilient and Adaptive Systems
  • Biomedical and Ecological Systems
  • Natural Computation and Engineering

Sabbaticals in YCCSA

Come and take your sabbatical in YCCSA
Are you interested in interdisciplinary work and want to work with interdisciplinary scientists - then consider taking your sabbatical in YCCSA.  Please contact the member of staff you would like to work with and they will sponsor your application.

We can provide financial assistance with bench fees in some circumstances.  For further information contact Sarah Christmas

Featured research

CAPACITIE Project: Cutting-Edge Approaches for Pollution Assessment in Cities

CAPACITIE is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network, funded by the European Commission. The project aims to deliver a new generation of researchers who have the skills to develop and apply cutting-edge technologies to monitor pollutants in the natural environment, in addition to a detailed understanding of end user needs for monitoring data and of the social and ethical issues around the adoption and use of the selected technologies.

More about CAPACITIE

IGGI Project: Intelligent Games and Games Intelligence

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training Intelligent Games and Games Intelligence (IGGI) is a collaboration between the University of York, the University of Essex and Goldsmiths College, University of London. It will train the next generation of researchers, designers, developers and entrepreneurs in digital games. The doctoral programme combines practical skills training with advanced teaching in cutting-edge research topics and the chance to contribute original research to a growing academic area. 

More about IGGI



Upcoming events


  • YCCSA Seminar
    28 November 2014 at 13:30 in RCH/204
    Dr Frank P Ryan, University of Sheffield
    Title: The Holobiontic Human Genome

  • YCCSA Seminar
    5 December 2014 at 13:30 in RCH/204
    Dr Alejandro Pena, University of York
    Title: Back in the Loop: Complexity in International Relations 

  • See the Events calendar for further information


  • 21 October 2014 - The next edition of the YCCSA Bulletin is now available.
  • 10 October 2014 - Study confirms pubs' key role in rural communities.  A study of rural pubs ahas provided the first robust evidence of their central role in the life of English rural communities.  The research was led by Dr Ignazio Cabras, an Associate Fellow of the York Centre for Complex Systems Analysis (YCCSA) at the University of York, and a Reader at Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University.
  • 7 October 2014 - YCCSA welcomes nine new Research Students, four of which are in IGGI, the new Centre for Doctoral Training
  • 1 October 2014 - Potential PhD Opportunities in the following projects: 'Dynamic networks in invasive ants: modelling flexibility in response to environmental change' and, 'The Evolution of the supercolony and the role of parasites'
  • 25 September 2014 - Dr Dan Franks in the York Press talking about his research on the social friendships of killer whales.  
More news ...