Evripidis Gkanias

Evripidis Gkanias

Research Associate in Computational & Neuromorphic Modelling

University of Edinburgh

University of Groningen

Evripidis (or Evri) is a post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Edinburgh, School of Informatics, and the University of Groningen, Faculty of Science and Engineering.

He is interested in bio-accurate artificial intelligence and information theory, and he currently studies the effectiveness of different forms of working memory constrained by insect neuroscience and nanotechnology hardware, aiming to build an anatomically-accurate polirised light compass circuit.

Scientific questions he is curretly working on:

  • how working memory implements in the brain,
  • can photons imitate message passing in the insect brain, and
  • how useful this is for visually guided navigation.
Download my resumé.
  • Bio-inspired Artificial Intelligence
  • Neuroethology of Navigation
  • Probabilistic Machine Learning
  • Reinforcement Learning
  • Bio-inspired Computer Vision
  • Multimodal Integration
  • PhD, Bio-inspired Robotics & Autonomous Systems, 2023

    University of Edinburgh

  • MSc, Artificial Intelligence, 2016

    University of Edinburgh

  • BSc, Computer Science, 2013

    Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Recent Publication

Research Experience

Univeristy of Edinburgh & University of Groningen
Research Associate in Computation. & Neuromorphic Modelling
Univeristy of Edinburgh &
University of Groningen
Jun 2022 – Present United Kingdom & Netherlands

Advisors: Prof Barbara Webb (Edinburgh), Prof Elisabetta Chicca (Groningen).
Project: Insect Neuro Nano, Funding: European Research Council.

I explore the effectiveness of different forms of working memory constrained by the biology and nanotechnology hardware and build an anatomically-accurate polarised light compass circuit.

Univeristy of Edinburgh
PhD Candidate in Bio-inspired Robotics & Autonomous Systems
Univeristy of Edinburgh
Sep 2018 – Mar 2023 United Kingdom

Advisors: Prof Barbara Webb, Prof Subramanian Ramamoorthy.
Thesis examiners: Prof Thomas Nowotny (external), Prof J. Douglas Armstrong (internal).
Project: Insect neuroethology of reinforcement learning, Funding: RAS CDT.

I investigated how insects form associative memories based on reinforcements from the environment and how this impacts their behaviour in the context of reinforcement learning.

Univeristy of Edinburgh & University of Sheffield
Research Associate in Computational Modelling
Univeristy of Edinburgh &
University of Sheffield
Mar 2017 – Aug 2018 United Kingdom

Advisors: Dr Michael Mangan (Sheffield), Prof Barbara Webb (Edinburgh).
Project: Invisible Cues, Funding: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

I was responsible for investigating the information content of polarised light in relation to animal navigation before using the outcomes to develop a technical specification / design for manufacture of a novel robot sensor.

Univeristy of Edinburgh
Research Assistant in Bio-robotics
Univeristy of Edinburgh
Sep 2016 – Feb 2017 United Kingdom

Advisors: Prof Barbara Webb.
Project: Minimal, Funding: European Research Council.

I focus on trying to imitate the learning mechanism of the larval Drosophila, which creates associations among odours and tastes. The goal is to create such a mechanism in neural level and put it on a robot platform. The robot will try to find the gustatory source following the gradients of the associated odour.

Centre for Research and Technology - Hellas (CERTH)
Research Assistant in Machine Learning
Centre for Research and Technology - Hellas (CERTH)
Jun 2014 – Aug 2015 Greece

Advisors: Dr Petros Daras.
Projects: RePlay, FI-STAR, Funding: European Commision.

My main task was to implement a toolbox, using C# and the WPF subsystem, which could be used to analyse and compare human gestures, tracked using different capturing devices, i.e., Microsoft Kinect, Vicon, WIMUs. I also implemented an extension of it, which was compatible with Unity3D.

Teaching Experience

Univeristy of Edinburgh
Teaching Assistant
Univeristy of Edinburgh
Sep 2018 – Aug 2022 United Kingdom

I have been tutoring, demonstrating and marking for a variety of courses including:

  • Introductory Applied Machine Learning: tutor, demonstrator, marker

    Instructors: Dr Amos Storkey & Prof Chris Williams

  • Reinforcement Learning: tutor

    Instructors: Dr Pavlos Andreadis & Dr Stefano Albrecht

  • System Desighn Project: Machine Vision and Quantitative Analysis expert

    Instructors: Dr Steve Tonneau, James Garforth & Prof Barbara Webb

Univeristy of Illinois  (coursera)
Community Teaching Assistant
Univeristy of Illinois (coursera)
Feb 2013 – May 2014 Online
  • Heterogeneous Parallel Programming: I was responsible for answering students' questions regarding the course material and assignments

    Instructor: Prof Wen-mei W. Hwu

Funding & Awards

The Linnean Society of London
Percy Sladen Memorial Fund Grant
Jun 2019 – Jul 2019 Seville, Spain
Small grant that allowed me to conduct some field-work experiments with desert ants in Seville, Spain. The proposed project was aiming to test for vector-sequence memories during path integration.
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Robotics and Autonomous Systems - Centre for Doctoral Training Grant
Sep 2018 – Aug 2022 Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, United Kingdom
PhD scholarship awareded to the top 10 candidates of the program.
University of Edinburgh
UK/EU Master’s Scholarship
Sep 2015 – Aug 2016 Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Master degree scholarship that covers the tuition fees for the top 100 students of all disciplines comming from the EU or the UK.




Computational Neuroscience
Machine Learning
Localisation and Mapping
Computer Vision