Dr Mat Evans Computational Neuroscientist

Mat Evans

B13 Pam Liversidge Building
Sir Frederick Mappin Building
Sheffield, S1 3JD, UK

Email: mat.evans@sheffield.ac.uk
Current and Previous Academic links:
Sean Anderson's ACSE page
Sheffield Robotics
Humphries Lab
Rasmus Petersen's Neural Coding Lab
ABRG Sheffield
Google Scholar
On the web:


I'm interested in neural computation, broadly defined. Currently I'm a Postdoc studying Robot Navigation at the University of Sheffield, UK.

I am interested in the computational principles underlying simple cognitive processes such as sensation, perception, navigation, action and decision making. I feel that understanding how (relatively) simple brains encode and act upon the world is our best chance of progress in Neuroscience. I strongly believe that computational and statistical methods - in particular the automation of data processing tasks with machine learning, for example, using machine vision tools for behavioural analysis - can provide step-changes in our ability to understand the brain. I also believe in studying simple systems operating under simple conditions with as much experimental precision as possible. For these reasons my current research is focussed on understanding the computational principles of simple navigation behaviours by developing and testing algorithms for visual odometry, localization and mapping for small, sensor-deprived robots on the Pipebots project, working with Sean Anderson (ACSE, Sheffield).

Previous Research

From 2014 to 2019 I did Neural Data Science the labs of Prof. Mark Humphries and Prof. Rasmus Petersen at The Universities of Manchester and Nottingham, understanding the rodent whisker system with a range of computational tools.

My PhD and early postdoc years were earned with Prof. Tony Prescott in Sheffield. As a member of Sheffield Robotics (formerly Sheffield Centre for Robotics, ScentRO), Active Touch Laboratory at Sheffield (ATL@S), Adaptive Behaviour Research Group (ABRG), EU grants BIOTACT, WYSIWYD and EFAA I developed models of whisker based tactile perception, and robot technologies based on the rodent whisker system. I also worked on a project (and patent) to develop a sensory augmentation device for providing distal touch information to the visually impaired (some details on this, and the whisker work, can be seen on a BBC Look North video here). In 2012 I was awarded an EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship from the University of Sheffield (£50K).



Posters and Abstracts (quite possibly an incomplete list)

Extra curricular

I am a proud Father, Husband and Welshman. I'm a first-language Welsh speaker. In my spare time I like to cycle. I have been known to swim and compete in the odd triathlon. I am a lapsed bmxer. My more transient interests can be followed on twitter