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

Autumn Seminar Programme for 2015

  • YCCSA Seminar
    22 May 2015 at 13:30 in RCH/204
    Dr Hermes Gadêlha, Department of Mathematics, York
    Title: tbc
  • YCCSA Seminar
    13 November 2015 at 13:30 in RCH/204
    Dr Pen Holland, Department of Biology, York, Landcare Research New Zealand
    Title: Playing possum: modelling brushtail possum imacts in New Zealand
  • See the Events calendar for further information


  • 8 September - Ants on the march in non-native confier forests - Duncan Procter, who is a PhD student in the Department of Biology at York and also a member of the York Centre for Complex Systems Analysis, mapped more than 5,500 ant nests that were mostly on the edges of coniferous plantations in the North York Moors. The success of the northern hairy wood ant (Formica lugubris) in colonising plantations of largely non-native coniferous species in the North York Moors National Park supports recent suggestions that non-native plantations can have positive influences on forest-dependent species.  Research pulished in Forest Ecology and Management
More news ...