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

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Excellent prospects for collective intelligence

Great news for IGB scientist Jens Krause and his group: Two clusters initiatives on the subject of collective behaviour and intelligence will receive funding through the German Excellence Strategy starting 1 January 2019.
press release

Light pollution makes fish more courageous

Artificial light at night also makes guppies more courageous during the day, according to a behavioural study led by researchers from IGB and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development.
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Social individuals find more food

How do you find food when the food is never exactly present at the same place or time? Looking at wild guppies, the solution seems to be: being social and surrounding yourself with females.

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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