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Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies

Social Evolutionary Ecology

Social Evolutionary Ecology

We aim to understand how individuals navigate their social landscape and how, in turn, social life impacts the interactions between individuals’ phenotype and their ecological environment. We combine advanced analytical and data collection techniques that allow us to scale up from the interactions among individuals to emergent population-level patterns and processes. We apply this approach to long-term studies in both captive and wild empirical systems allowing us to link fine-scale moment-by-moment decisions of individuals to long-term consequences for themselves, their group, and the population.

Head of group: Prof. Dr. Damien Farine

Research themes

  • Mechanisms and population-level consequences of collective animal behaviour
  • The emergence and dynamics of animal social networks
  • The ontogeny of social interactions, social relationships, and dominance ranks
  • Social and ecological interactions—collective behaviour, predation, and cooperation—across time and space
  • Within-species specialisation in behaviour
  • Individual-level physiological consequences of social and collective behaviour
  • Leadership and drivers of individual differences in social influence


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