Behavioural ecology and 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

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Big Fish = Bold Fish?

An IGB study partially refutes the pace-of-life syndrome hypothesis. Ex-IGB doctoral student Giovanni Polverino, was able to show that the pace-of-life syndrome, much discussed in biology at present, does not appear under all conditions.
press release

Familiarity breeds aggression

Aggressiveness among animals may increase the longer individuals live together in stable groups. This is the finding of a recent study carried out by researchers from IGB. The study, published in the journal Animal Behaviour used the Amazon molly to isolate the effects of familiarity on behaviour.
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Descendants of Phoenix

Lesser Flamingos are the subject of a new book written by IGB scientist Lothar Krienitz. The book gives insights into the life of these mysterious water birds.

Related Projects

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

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

Experts at IGB

David Bierbach

Guest scientist
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

Ralf Kurvers

Guest scientist
Working group
Causes and consequences of behavioural types

Max Wolf

Research group leader
Working group
Causes and consequences of behavioural types

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