During my Bachelor’s degree at ETH Zurich and Uppsala University, I studied a wide range of biological topics, from neurobiology to molecular biology and marine biology. In my Master’s degree, I specialised in immunology and microbiology and investigated the evolution of the collective behaviour of bacteria in my thesis. Subsequently, I worked as a research assistant on projects about the evolution of cooperative predation in bacteria and about the eco-evolutionary dynamics of microbial communities.
Dan has a background in theoretical physics. He is interested to apply ideas from theoretical physics to study collective animal behaviour.
Sophia is interested in how information travels through collectives and how those are able to reach decisions together based on the nature of the information and its spread. Her background is in behavioral neuroscience, acquired while studying phototaxis in zebrafish larvae during her PhD in the Laboratoire Jean Perrin at Sorbonne Université (Paris). She now focuses on questions related to individual and collective navigation, as well as information transfer and decision-making within groups, using a virtual reality system for freely moving fish.
Brian is a PhD student from the University of California Berkeley, visiting the Couzin lab as a DAAD research fellow. He studies the aggressive behaviors of social trematodes (i.e., flatworms, blood flukes), specifically how trematode soldier morphs perceive their enemies, and decide to attack them. Using computer vision, he is testing if soldiers in combat might “recruit” other soldiers into collective defense of their colony. His other work involves colony recognition in ants at the Tsutusi lab in Berkeley,
I have diverse research interests in animal communication, cognition, collective behaviours, social evolution, and a strong inclination towards studying animals in natural settings.
During my PhD, I studied social learning and flexibility in the vocal communication of wild vervet monkeys in South Africa. My work involved both detailed natural observations and novel field experiments with the broader aim of gaining insights into potential precursors of human language.
Here in Konstanz,
Ahmed El Hady is a principal investigator and research scientist at the center for advanced study of collective behavior (Uni Konstanz). He is a neuroscientist who worked on a variety of problems from the biophysics of the action potential, the collective behavior of neuronal networks to the neural mechanisms underlying decision making in rats. His current research interests revolve around formal theories of social foraging across species and the implementation of large scale foraging experiments with rodents in the newly built imaging hangar at the University of Konstanz.
Smith, M.L., Davidson, J.D., Wild, B., Dormagen, D.M., Landgraf, T. & Couzin, I.D. (2021) The dominant axes of lifetime behavioral variation in honey bees, in review.
Poel, W., Daniels, B.C., Sosna, M.M.G., Twomey, C.R., Leblanc, S.P., Couzin, I.D. & Romanczuk, P. (2021) Subcritical escape waves in schooling fish, in review.
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.
Bak-Coleman, J.B., Alfano, M., Barfuss, W., Bergstrom, C.T., Centeneo, M.A., Couzin, I.D., Galesic, M., Gersick, A.S., Jacquet, J., Kao, A.B., Patterson, T.S., Romanczuk, P., Rubenstein, D.I., Tombak, K.J., Van Bavel, J.J. & Weber, E.U. (2021) Stewardship of global collective behavior, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118 (27) e2025764118.