Hywel received his PhD in Complex Systems from University of Leeds in 2006. Since then he has worked in the departments of Environmental Science and Computer Science at University of East Anglia, before moving to Biosciences at University of Exeter in 2011. In 2017 he moved across campus to his current position in Computer Science, where he is a part of the new Institute for Data Science & Artificial Intelligence.
His research career has applied complex systems thinking and computational methods to problems in artificial intelligence, Earth system science, ecology, evolution, and more recently, social sciences. This interdisciplinary mix is unified by a methodological focus on simulation, network analysis and machine learning.
Current research interests focus primarily on the analysis of complex data from the wneteb and social media, with a particular emphasis on environmental issues. This work includes network analysis and text mining to understand online political and environmental debates, modelling/predicting collective attention in social media, understanding social biases in online news consumption, and using web data to track natural hazards.