Penelope Faulkner Rainford is a PhD student studying artificial life through the scope of artificial chemistry at University of York, YCCSA (York Cross-disciplinary Centre for System Analysis). Her particular focus is algebraic structures in artificial chemistry and is currently engaged in building an algebraic graph based framework for describing artificial chemistries including their objects, processes and algorithms.


Research interests include algebraic structures, artificial chemistries, data structures, data standardisation, evolutionary algorithms, evolutionary computation, agent based systems, open-ended evolution, non-associative algebras, non-standard computation and graph theory.


Penelope have been engaged with the academic community throughout her PhD through various activities.

  • YDS 2016 (York Doctoral Symposium) - Treasurer, Industry Liaison and Program committee
  • YDS 2017 - Program committee
  • ISAL Student and Postdoc group - ISAL board representative 2016-2018 (ISAL- International society for artificial life)


Penelope’s PhD has been funded by a teaching studentship from the University of York Department of Chemistry. This has involved over 300 hours of teaching including demonstrating, marking, office hours, lectures and development of teaching materials. Alongside this she has completed the York Learning and Teaching Award (YLTA) accredited as an Associate Fellow of the HEA.


Publications - Conferences - Teaching - Achievements