The work of the ALife Lab is focussed on exploring the synthesis of basic Autopoietic Agents in Artificial Chemistries, and understanding the interactions between such autopoietic organisation, self-reproduction and evolution.

An Artificial Chemistry is a computer created virtual "world" which instantiates some kind of "chemistry". That is to say, there is a space (typically more or less Euclidean) in which elementary particles can move around. Particles which are adjacent in this space spontaneously engage in reactions whereby new particles or compound molecules may be formed, leading to further reactions.

Unlike conventional chemical or bio-chemical engineering, the designer of an Artificial Chemistry is free to more or less arbitrarily stipulate the nature and characteristics (bonding, reactions etc.) of the elementary particles, and the mechanics of motion (kinetics, thermodynamics etc.) of such a system. The challenge is then to formulate a suitable artificial chemistry to facilitate the embedding of relatively simple Autopoietic Agents.

The following list summarises research projects which have been carried out at the ALife Lab, both current and completed. Further projects will be developed as resources and priorities at the lab permit.