Department of Collective Behavior

Our research focuses on revealing the principles that underlie collective animal behavior. Understanding how social influence shape biological processes is a central challenge, essential for achieving progress in a variety of fields ranging from the organization and evolution of coordinated collective action among cells, or animals, to the dynamics of information exchange in human societies. By developing an integrated experimental and theoretical research program we aim to explore functional properties of groups in a context that can reveal how, and why, social behavior has evolved.

A fundamental problem in a wide range of disciplines is understanding how functional complexity at a macroscopic scale results from the actions and interactions among the individual components. We use a wide range of animal systems to address this fundamental question.

Our research brings us to the interface of a variety of fields, from physics, to computer science, to politics, to psychology. Many of these interdisciplinary collaborations are fostered in the Center for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour at the University of Konstanz, a DFG cluster of excellence which Iain Couzin co-directs.

Research - The Collective Behavior Labs

Latest news

Wild dolphin swims in lagoon watched by fishers

A study reveals how cooperative hunting between dolphins and fishers can benefit both species—and why this behavior faces extinction more

Iain Couzin, MPI-AB director, beside a fish tank

Five questions about the number five with the renowned collective behaviour researcher more

Danai Papageorgiou wins the Otto Hanh medal

Doctoral student is honored for research uncovering the complex social life of the vulturine guineafowl more

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New Positions Available (2021/2022)
Location: Konstanz, Germany, with Iain Couzin
Duration: Postdocs up to 5 years, PhDs up to 4 years, fully funded, available immediately.
We seek motivated postdoctoral/PhD candidates to work in several projects on Using immersive Virtual Reality to understand individual decision-making in insects and/or fish (2 positions: experimental and theory) more

In the Media

Iain Couzin in his office

It’s the Matrix, but for locusts more

Regio TV

Neue Studie zu Tierverhalten more

pair of adult fairy wrens

These Tiny Birds Get By With A Little Help From Their Friends more

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