Iain D. Couzin

Current Institution
Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Department of Collective Behaviour, and, Department of Biology, University of Konstanz

Scholar: 2008

Awarded Institution
Princeton University


Research Interests

Collective Behavior in Biological Systems

Research in the Couzin lab focuses on understanding collective behavior; how large-scale biological patterns result from the actions and interactions of the individual components of a system. Self-organized pattern formation is studied in a wide range of biological systems, including ants, fish schools, bird flocks, locust / cricket swarms and human crowds.

Areas of particular interest include:

  • Collective decision-making in groups.
  • Creating computer models (mostly individual-based) to elucidate the relationship between biological pattern forming processes over a range of spatial and temporal scales.
  • The spread, and use, of information in animal populations (information transmission across dynamic networks; social learning).
  • How the movement of, and interactions among, individuals produces the dynamics of the population they make up.
  • Developing computer vision software to record and analyze the movement and behavior of a large number (hundreds) of organisms (e.g. insects, fish) concurrently.
  • Applying biologically-inspired algorithms to technological applications.