Research themes

Comparative Behavioural Economics

Prospect theory curve overlaying ants

Humans like things such as consumer goods more or less depending on whether they fulfil their expectations. The same holds true for ants. This could have implications for how colonies exploit their environment

Information use

Lasius niger ants and beads experiment

We have many sources of information available to us, such as personal information, friends' opinions, and advertisements. Social insects often have access to multiple information sources. We ask how these are used adaptivly.

Comparative psychology

Sometimes, the way insects process information and react to the world is remarkably similar to our own. In other ways, it is markedly different. By running insect-equivalents of classical psychological experiments, and pushing the limits of insect cognition, we gain a better understanding of how they, and we, think.

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Agent-based modelling

Once we have learned the rules individual ants follow, we want to know how this affects the colony as a whole. Using agent-based models, we explore how individual ant complexity results in adaptive colony-level behaviours.

Other projects

ant toilet

New projects are always catching our interest, from web-building location choice in spiders to where ants choose to defecate. If it's interesting animal behaviour, we'll study it!