Armin seeks to understand the nervous system computations underlying animal decision-making. His work focuses on the larval zebrafish, a small and almost perfectly translucent vertebrate with a brain similar to ours. Zebrafish have a rich and innately present behavioral repertoire and are amenable to genetic modifications. These features allow Armin’s group to combine precise tracking experiments, cognitive algorithmic modeling, whole-brain activity imaging, genomic sequencing, and targeted circuit manipulations, to in detail dissect the neural basis of decision-making.
Luke is a researcher with a broad background in physical sciences and engineering. He joined the department after finishing his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech where he worked on multiscale modeling approaches for studying hydrogen effects in metals. Luke enjoys learning about new subjects and the challenge of working of problems across fields. In his research moving forward he hopes to merge bottom-up modeling and analytic techniques from materials science and physics into the study of collective behavior in animal groups.
Aya Goldshtein conducted her Ph.D. at Tel-Aviv University where she studied foraging decision-making and navigation capacities in bats. During her research she studied the mutual relationship between nectar-feeding bats and their food source, the Saguaro cacti, revealing the foraging strategy and the decision process bats deal with while consuming the cacti’s nectar. She is now interested in expanding these questions and unravels the foraging strategy and the decision process of hummingbird hawk-moth.
Robots help to answer age-old question of why fish school
by Carla Avolio
Study using biomimetic fish-like robots shows that swimming closely together offers fish hydrodynamic benefits – research project with participation from University of Konstanz researchers provides first experimental validation of an answer to an old question.
A fish school is a striking demonstration of synchronicity. Yet centuries of study have left a basic question unanswered: do fish save energy by swimming in schools?
Bin obtained his degree BSc in Aquaculture from Southwest University (China) in 2015, and his MSc in Environmental Science from Dalian Ocean University (China) in 2019. He studies the ways social contexts affect behaviour and autonomic stress responses in social cichlids. He is also interested in understanding how the brain and behavior can be shaped by the social environment. Bin has funded a 4-year scholarship by the China Scholarship Council.
Nagy, M., Horicsányi, A., Kubinyi, E., Couzin, I.D. Vásárhelyi, G., Flack, A., & Vicsek, T. (2020) Synergistic benefits of group search in rats, Current Biology 30, 1-6.
Alex Baugh is an associate professor of biology at Swarthmore College in Philadelphia where his research group focuses primarily on the neuroendocrine mechanisms underlying social behavior, particularly sexual receptivity in female frogs and songbirds. Alex is spending a sabbatical year working primarily in the Collective Behavior department with Alex Jordan’s group with support from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and MPI-AB. The primary goal is the development of methods for quantifying and manipulating steroid hormones in cichlids with an aim of using these techniques to test hypotheses about endocrine regulation of social behavior across related species.
My research aims at understanding the evolution of family living, as well cooperation among unrelated individuals. I rely on my long-term study system, the Siberian jay, which we study in Swedish Lapland, 80km south of Arctic Circle. In addition, I am interested in questions relating to language like adaptations (call meaning, syntax).
Rodriguez-Santiago M, Nuehrenberg P, Derry J, Deussen O, Francisco F, Garrison LK, Garza SF, Hofmann A, Jordan A. 2020. Behavioral traits that define social dominance are the same that reduce social influence in a consensus task. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (31) 18566-18573