Collective behaviour

We are using various mathematical methods to investigate the relationship between the behaviour of individual animals and the dynamics of their population. A focus of this research work has been on social insects: we are interested in how insects use simple rules and local information to generate complex and functional patterns. More recent work has concentrated on applying these techniques to the dynamics of populations in ecological systems. We are working in collaboration with a number of research groups (Steve Simpson (Sydney), Iain Couzin (Princeton), David Sumpter (Sweden)).

Please contact Professor Philip K. Maini or Professor Radek Erban for more details.

Locusts: an example of a social insect that displays collective behaviour.
Photograph courtesy of Jerome Buhl. 

Key references in this area

  • C. A. Yates, R. E. Baker, R. Erban and P. K. Maini (2010). Refining self-propelled particle models for collective behaviour. Can. Appl. Math. Q. 18:299-350. (eprints)
  • C. A. Yates, R. Erban, C. Escudero, I. Couzin, J. Buhl, I. Kevrekidis, P. K. Maini and D. Sumpter (2009). Inherent noise can facilitate coherence in collective swarm motion. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106:5464-5469. (eprints)