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

Sailing in Darwin's wake

Sailing in Darwin's wake

February 12, 2022

Eduardo Sampaio sailed for ten days along a section of the route of the MS Beagle more

Scientists are turning the powers of AI and Big Data towards preserving wildlife

Experts in artificial intelligence and animal ecology are pooling their efforts into a pioneering approach to conservation more

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz-Prize for Iain Couzin

Germany's most important research award is given to MPI-AB director more

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

SWR Wissen

Iain Couzin erforscht das Schwarmverhalten von Tieren more

3 Sat, Nano

Iain Couzin und das kollektive Verhalten von Vögeln more

Foto: Patrick Pleul/ dpa

Warum Ameisen nie im Stau stehen more

Go to Editor View