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Tipping Points


Dr Philip Garnett, BSc. MSc. PhD.

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Research Associate of Work Package 4 in Tipping Points Research Project

Contact Dr Philip Garnett (email at

Current Research

I work as a post-doctoral research assistant on the Tipping Points Project based in the IHRR here at Durham Univeristy. My area of work, with my colleagues in Work Package 4, is mainly focused on how something becomes popular in a social system. What makes something become universal, popular or trendy? This is often difficult to understand and predict, particularly if there is seemingly little difference between many of the choices available to society.

Active research areas include; modelling synchronised human behaviour, biological and ecological systems, and language evolution.

Research Background

My background is in the modelling and simulation of biological systems. I started my academic carrier as a geneticist and quickly realised that it was the modelling aspects of this field that I was most interested in. For example, the modelling of drift and selection in populations. I then went on to study computer science and eventually did a PhD in Computational Biology at the University of York UK. Over time my interest in modelling social systems also developed, and it is this interest that lead me to the Tipping Points project.

Selected Publications

Journal Article

Conference Paper

Conference Proceeding

  • Garnett, P., Stepney, S. & Leyser, O. Towards an Executable Model of Auxin Transport Canalisation. York, England: CoSMoS 2008; 2008.
  • Garnett, P., Stepney, S. & Leyser, O. Integrative Hybrid Modelling of Plant Shoot Branching. 5th International Workshop on Functional Structural Plant Models: FSPM07, New Zealand; 2007.

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