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Science; Speaker Series: “Big Data Revolution - Dr. Gordon, Stanford University
Start Date: 4/28/2017Start Time: 3:00 PM
End Date: 4/28/2017End Time: 4:30 PM
Event Description:
The Faculty of Science Big Data Lecture Series:

The ecology of collective behavior
Do we need centralized control?
A lesson from Ants

Prof. Deborah M Gordon, Dept of Biology, Stanford University

Like many biological systems, an ant colony operates without central control. Each ant responds to its interactions with other ants nearby. In the aggregate, these stochastic, dynamical networks of interaction regulate colony behavior.
Ants are extremely diverse, and species differences in collective behavior reflect relations with diverse environments. A long-term study of desert seed-eating ants shows how colonies regulate foraging activity according to food availability and humidity, and how natural selection is shaping collective behavior in current drought conditions. In the tropical arboreal turtle ant, trail systems respond to the distribution and stability of resources.

Collective behavior has evolved to fit the dynamics of particular environments. Examples from ants provide a starting point for examining more generally the fit between the particular pattern of interaction that regulates activity, and the environment in which it functions.

Robert B. Schultz Theatre, St. John's College

Refreshments to follow.
Dr. Gordon

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