ERC Starting Grant to Study the Ecology of Collective Behaviour

15Dr. Damien Farine wins 2019 ERC grant

Biologist at the interface of collective behaviour and ecology nabs prestigious European grant for early career researchers.

Dr. Damien Farine, a principal investigator at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, has been awarded a prestigious ERC Starting Grant. Announced today, the prominent grant—which includes 1.5 million euros in funding over the next 5 years—is designed to help early career scientists and scholars build their own teams and conduct pioneering research. There were 408 grants awarded out of a pool of 3106 applications from around the world.

The ERC Starting Grant will allow Farine to conduct innovative and high-risk research that will have a major impact on our understanding of how animals successfully navigate complex social and physical environments. The grant will fund research on group-living birds in Kenya, where Farine seeks to understand how the past experiences of individuals, together with environmental conditions, affect leadership in animal groups. His ERC-funded project will combine state-of-the-art technological and scientific methods that will revolutionise the study of animal groups in the wild. In addition, the ERC Starting Grant will provide opportunities for young scientists, including Kenyan students, to undertake world-class research in Farine’s team.

Read more about why Damien’s research is at the forefront of the study of social and collective behaviours in wild populations on the Farine Lab: Overview