Ben Hartl received his B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. in Technical Physics at the TU Wien, Austria.

My research at Levin Lab is focused on the evolutionary implications of multi-scale intelligence. To this end, I utilize cutting-edge multi-agent-based machine learning techniques to model and train multi-scale competency architectures that represent the foundation of biology: we deploy swarms of virtual, adaptive, communicating agents that implement a minimal model for morphogenesis of multi-cellular tissue based on individual decision-making, and we investigate how evolutionary processes and connectionist approaches operate on such hierarchical agential, rather than passive, materials.

Through this, we aim to further the understanding of learning, cognition, and (biological & artificial) intelligence as a fundamentally collective, scale-free phenomenon and thus shed new light on fundamental biological processes such as intelligence and evolution.


  • During my BSc and MSc education, I received the "Award of Excellence of the TU Wien (2012, 2013, 2014)" and the "Award of Excellence of the Faculty of Physics, TU Wien (2012, 2013)".
  • My Ph.D. at the TU Wien was funded via a competitive DOC fellowship of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (2017), and I was rewarded the "Förderstipendium for Excellence of the TU Wien (2016)", and the "Christiana Hörbiger Prize of the TU Wien (2018)".
  •  I received my Ph.D. in a Promotio sub auspiciis Praesidentis rei publicae, which is the highest possible distinction for academic achievements for a doctoral degree in Austria.