Behavioural Ecology & Swarm Intelligence

Shoals of fish often achieve things that individual specimens are unable to do. It is easier for fish to find food, to recognise enemies quickly, and to reproduce more successfully in a shoal. In the case of humans, too, decisions taken collectively often turn out to be better than those made by individuals. For this reason, social networks and collective decision processes are not only interesting for ecology, but also for decision management in politics, medicine or the economy. In these systems, principles such as competition, organisation, cooperation and resource management play an important role. For this reason, at IGB we explore how decision processes can be improved. For example, we use knowledge of the swarm behaviour of fish to derive models for the dynamics and organisation of groups of people.

Related News

short news

No sex for all-female fish species

They reproduce through gynogenesis. Their offspring are clones of the mother. According to established theories, the Amazon molly should have become extinct a long time ago. Well, why didn’t it?
short news

What are carp doing in the winter?

No sign of hibernation: IGB scientistshave compiled  movement data on carp behavior in a natural lake.
press release

Understanding animal social networks can aid wildlife conservation

The usefulness of animal social network analysis as a conservation tool has not yet been addressed. But the understanding of relationships between animals could be applied by wildlife managers and conservationists to support their work.

Related Projects

Robofish

I will manipulate the social responsiveness of an interactive biomimetic robot (‘Robofish’) and quantify the following behavior of live guppies. This could provide empirical data to evaluate several recent theoretical models on collective motion and leadership in animal groups.  
Contact person
David Bierbach
Department
(Dept. 4) Biology and Ecology of Fishes
Start
05/2016
End
05/2019
Topic

B-Types

When individuals within populations differ among each other in their behavioural type, what are the consequences for individuals, communities and population management?
Contact person
Max Wolf
Department
(Dept. 4) Biology and Ecology of Fishes
Start
07/2013
End
06/2017
Topic

Experts at IGB

David Bierbach

Postdoc
Working group
Mechanisms and Functions of Group-Living
Causes and Consequences of Behavioural Types

Jens Krause

Head of Department
Working group
Mechanisms and Functions of Group-Living

Kate Laskowski

Postdoc
Working group
Food Web Ecology and Fish Communities
Causes and Consequences of Behavioural Types

Max Wolf

Research Group Leader
Working group
Causes and Consequences of Behavioural Types

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