Manuel Pita is an Assistant Professor in Artificial Intelligence, Data Science and Complex Systems at CICANT (ULHT, Portugal) and Associate Researcher in the Complex Systems group at ISTAR (ISCTE-IUL, Portugal). His research is on the interplay between individual and collective behaviours in complex networks (or how do individuals and collectives shape each other). Was awarded a PhD in Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science by the University of Edinburgh (Scotland, UK) in 2007 and pursued postdoctoral training with Prof. Luís Rocha (Indiana University, USA) and Prof. Melanie Mitchell (Portland State University, USA). He is the principal investigator in a project that studies the driver factors of collective states in the online social conversations of young secondary school students in Portugal. This knowledge is to be used to support the public administration in the design of ethical educational interventions to improve critical thinking, reflexive behaviours and foster quality in group conversations - thus counteracting phenomena such as hate speech, polarisation, and dissemination of fake news. Manuel is also involved in research on the theory of complex systems and on the use ambient intelligence/IoT for human well-being.

Personal identification

Full name
Manuel Pita

Citation names

  • Marques-Pita, Manuel

Author identifiers

Ciência ID

Knowledge fields

  • Exact Sciences - Computer and Information Sciences - Information Science
  • Social Sciences - Media and Communications - Media and Socio-cultural Communication


Language Speaking Reading Writing Listening Peer-review
Spanish; Castilian (Mother tongue)
English Proficiency (C2) Proficiency (C2) Proficiency (C2) Proficiency (C2) Proficiency (C2)
Portuguese Advanced (C1) Proficiency (C2) Advanced (C1) Proficiency (C2) Proficiency (C2)
French Beginner (A1) Intermediate (B1) Beginner (A1) Beginner (A1) Elementary (A2)
Degree Classification
PhD. in Informatics (Doutoramento)
University of Edinburgh School of Informatics, United Kingdom
"Aitana: A Cognitively Inspired Artifact to Explore the Evolution of Conceptual Representations of Cellullar Automata-based Complex Systems" (THESIS/DISSERTATION)
PhD (Outstanding)
Engenharia de sistemas (Licenciatura)
Universidad Metropolitana, Venezuela
"A Genetic-algorithm simulation of the sea travels between Spain and Venezuela in the XVI century." (THESIS/DISSERTATION)
First Class Honours


Host institution
2016/09/01 - Current Contracted Researcher (Research) Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias, Portugal
Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias Centro de Investigação em Comunicação Aplicada Cultura e Novas Tecnologias, Portugal
2015/03/02 - 2016/08/31 Contracted Researcher (Research) Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Portugal
2014/09/01 - 2015/02/28 Contracted Researcher (Research) Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Portugal
2011/03/01 - 2014/08/31 Contracted Researcher (Research) Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Portugal
2008/01/07 - 2011/12/31 Contracted Researcher (Research) Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal
2007/06/01 - 2007/10/31 Visiting Researcher (Research) Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Portugal
2006/03/01 - 2007/06/30 Contracted Researcher (Research) University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Teaching in Higher Education

Host institution
2005/01/03 - 2007/06/29 Visiting Teacher (Polytechnic Teacher) University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
2000/10/02 - 2006/07/31 Tutor (University Teacher) University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
2000/10/02 - 2006/07/01 Assistant (University Teacher) University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
2004/06/01 - 2005/07/31 Assistant Professor (University Teacher) University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom


Designation Funders
2020 - 2023/01/05 Debaqi: Factors to promote healthy dialogue and behaviours in online school communities
Principal investigator
Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias, Portugal

Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores Investigação e Desenvolvimento em Lisboa, Portugal

Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Portugal
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
2011 - 2014/08 Collective Computation and Control in Complex Biochemical Systems
Post-doc Fellow
Ministério da Educação
2008 - 2011/12 Collective Computation in Complex Networks
Post-doc Fellow
Ministério da Educação
2004 - 2007/08 LE ACTIVE MATH - Language-Enhanced, User Adaptive, Interactive eLearning for Mathematics
Post-doc Fellow
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation


  1. Marques-Pita, M.; Mitchell, M.; Rocha, L.M.. The role of conceptual structure in designing cellular automata to perform collective computation. 2008.
Conference paper
  1. Marques-Pita, M.; Rocha, L.M.. "Schema redescription in cellular automata: Revisiting emergence in complex systems". 2011.
  2. Marques-Pita, M.; Rocha, L.M.. "Conceptual structure in cellular automata: The density classification task". 2008.
  3. Pita, Manuel. "Adaptive tutorial dialogue systems using deep NLP techniques". 2007.
  4. Marques-Pita, Manuel. "The Beetle and BeeDiff tutoring systems". 2007.
Journal article
  1. Roberto Pierdicca; Manuel Marques-Pita; Marina Paolanti; Eva Malinverni. "IoT and Engagement in the Ubiquitous Museum". Sensors (2019):
  2. Won, M.; Marques-Pita, M.; Louro, C.; Gonçalves-Sá, J.. "Early and Real-Time Detection of Seasonal Influenza Onset". PLoS Computational Biology 13 2 (2017): http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-85014289036&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  3. Mateus, A.R.A.; Marques-Pita, M.; Oostra, V.; Lafuente, E.; Brakefield, P.M.; Zwaan, B.J.; Beldade, P.. "Adaptive developmental plasticity: Compartmentalized responses to environmental cues and to corresponding internal signals provide phenotypic flexibility". BMC Medicine 12 1 (2014): http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-84964312581&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  4. Marques-Pita, M.; Rocha, L.M.. "Canalization and Control in Automata Networks: Body Segmentation in Drosophila melanogaster". PLoS ONE 8 3 (2013): http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-84874767199&partnerID=MN8TOARS.

Artistic / Performance

Artistic performance
  1. 2016. Morfogénese Musical (" Musical Morphogenesis"). Gulbenkian Museum.
Curatorial / Museum exhibition
  1. Manuel Marques-Pita; Simão Costa; Maria João Oliveira; Sancho Oliveira; Alexandra Paio; Luis Rocha. 2016. "A" Morfogénese musical" na Semana da Ciência e Tecnologia (" Musical Morphogenesis" in the Science and Technology Week)".


Other output
  1. Marques-Pita, Manuel. 2021. Effective connectivity determines the critical dynamics of biochemical networks.

Conference scientific committee

Conference name Conference host
2019/09/01 - 2019/12/12 8th Conference in Complex Networks and their Applications Gulbenkian Foundation. Lisbon, PT