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Tuesday, November 9, 2021 11am to 12pm

Virtual Event
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For many animals, ecological and evolutionary success depends not only on the characteristics or decisions of lone individuals, but also on what happens when groups of individuals come together and interact. These collective behaviors and traits can transform the social landscape, giving rise to novel selective pressures that drive the evolution of social complexity. To understand how structured animal societies emerge and function, we need a common framework for quantifying the interactions—from dyad to group to population—that comprise the ‘sociome.’ Technological innovations—from satellite-based tracking and proximity loggers to drones and computer vision—can generate vast quantities of detailed, noisy data about individual behavior in social contexts, creating new opportunities to map the relationships that structure animal societies. However, our ability to collect data is quickly outstripping our ability to extract biological insight. In this talk, I will discuss the analytical, experimental and technological methods we are developing to harness these tools of our digital age, and illustrate how we are using these approaches to monitor, measure and experimentally manipulate wild animal societies in ecologically and evolutionarily relevant field settings.

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