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

Barn with cameras attached to the walls and ceiling

Inside an 18th-century barn, a research lab captures the interactions within animal groups in unprecedented detail more

pigeons outlined in colourful boxes

With a new marker less method it is now possible to track the gaze and fine-scaled behaviours of every individual bird and how that animal moves in the space with others more

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

Show more

In the Media

Imaging Hangar

Uni Konstanz untersucht Tiergruppen in neuer Hightech-Halle more

Birds in imaging barn

Animal motion-capture studio tracks bird flocks and insect swarms more

Iain Couzin in his office

It’s the Matrix, but for locusts more

Show more

Go to Editor View