Luís M. A. Bettencourt is a Professor of Ecology and Evolution and the College at the University of Chicago. He is also Associate Faculty of the Department of Sociology and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. He grew up in Lisbon (Portugal) and obtained his first degree in Engineering Physics from IST Lisbon. He obtained is PhD from Imperial College London and held postdocs and research positions at the University of Heidelberg (Germany), Los Alamos National Laboratory, MIT, and the Santa Fe Institute.
His current research focuses on the modeling and theory of complex adaptive systems and, in particular, the processes that create and sustain cities. He connects interdisciplinary concepts together with new evidence and data to create new theoretical and methodological syntheses that account for the properties of urban environments and produce new science-based solutions to their challenges. This work also involves collaborations with interdisciplinary researchers worldwide, local governments and NGOs to co-produce new practices of sustainable development. His work is well-known academically and in the media, and has been influential in developing new theory and creative approaches to challenges of urbanization and complexity worldwide.