Dr. Eli D. Strauss

Department of Collective Behavior

Main Focus

I’m a behavioural ecologist interested in how stable social systems evolve from collectives of individuals with variable experiences and diverse – and often competing – interests. Amazingly, persistent and functional societies have evolved repeatedly despite being made up of individuals who experience divergent costs and benefits of group living, form heterogeneous relationships with their group-mates, and are shaped by different developmental experiences. In my research, I use a combination of field experiments, computational techniques, remote sensing, and long-term observational data to understand the interplay between societies and their constituents across scales – from the mechanics of individual behavioural interactions to the dynamics of social inequality at the group level. A recurring theme in my research is a long-term perspective that explores how these phenomena lead to the emergence of structures that span lifetimes and generations.

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