Collective behaviour of animal groups fundamentally comprises the exploitation of distributed and decentralized information processing by biological systems. Animal collectives often form dynamic networks, a concept which is of increasing importance in information technology applications. Although previous studies have aimed to explain the processing mechanisms that underlie behavioural phenomena, the full potential of collective behaviour as a computation system for complex problem solving remains unexplored. Conversely in the field of neuroscience, information processing mechanisms have been well-explored, where distributed processing mechanisms, as well as the lines of inquiry that lead to their definition, are an active area of study.
I aim to explore complex information processing by animal collectives through analogy and comparison to established concepts in neuroscience. Specifically, I am adapting a visual stimulus paradigm used in primate decision-making studies to probe analogous collective decision-making questions in large schools of fish. The adaptation of an existing approach will enable exploration of a new system with guidance from a well-established theoretical framework and body of literature. The exploration of this framework in a dynamic network will provide insight that will influence a broad range of scientific interests, including robotics, information technology, and neuroscience.
01.2011 to 12.2014 Ph.D. (Neuroscience) - University of Vienna - Austria.
09.2008 to 09.2010 M.Sc (Molecular Biology) - Univ. of Western Ontario - Canada
09.2004 to 04.2008 B.Sc. (Honours Genetics) - Univ. of Western Ontario - Canada
10.2016 to present Collective behaviour of Fish. Department of Collective Behaviour (Dr. Iain Couzin).
Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior. Konstanz, Germany.
“Distributed problem solving in animal collectives as a system to study complex computation.”
01.2011 to 10.2016 Neural control of courtship. laboratory of Dr. Barry J. Dickson.
HHMI, Janelia Research Campus. Ashburn, USA.
& Institute for Molecular Pathology. Vienna, Austria.
“Neuronal mechanisms that mediate temporal control of courtship behaviour in Drosophila melanogaster.”
09.2007 to 10.2010 Functional protein domains. laboratory of Dr. A. Percival-Smith.
University of Western Ontario. London, Canada.
“Post-translational modiPication of the functional protein domains of Fushi Tarazu, a transcription factor in Drosophila melanogaster.”