Outreach demos

On this page I have collected some software that is suitable to introduce the ideas of computational biology to a lay audience, including children. There are a couple of different topics that are covered.

Ant Simulation Tutorial

In this tutorial you can learn about the trail following behaviour of ants and how it helps them to navigate the environment. Click on the thumbnails below to access the four stages separately, or start with stage one to go through the entire tutorial.


alternatively you can also try the full Simulation.

The original Java applets for this topic have been removed as running Java applets without undergoing a tedious certification process has become unviable.

Swarming Simulation

A different topic covers the swarming behaviour of animals. You can explore this with another simulation created by James Thorniley by clicking on the thumbnail below.


Bee Pilot

The bee pilot was developed by Dr. Lucas Wilkins to demonstrate how bees might experience the environment. It makes use of the 3D goggle "oculus rift" to let a human experience a beautiful island through a bee's eye and collect nectar from simulated flowers.

Behavioral Robotics Outreach

This activity was created by James Thorniley and Dr. Lucas Wilkins and is organised around simple robots similar to Braitenberg's vehicles. With changing a few basic parameters in a brain-less circuit of sensors and motors, apparently intelligent behaviour can be observed. Click on the thumbnail below to see the details on Lucas' website.

Online Neuron Simulator

This simulator lets you explore the behaviour of neurons online. The simulator was built by Daniel Hellawell in his final year project 2015. Click on the image below to get started.