Ongoing research projects

Individual and collective behaviour in eusocial societies

In my doctoral work, some projects focus on exploring mechanisms of individual and collective behaviour in eusocial societies. Specifically, I am investigating spontaneous emergence and maintenance of coordinated collective motion in Neotropical termite species.

This work is currently under development at the Department of Collective Behaviour of the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behaviour, under supervision of Dr Iain Couzin (MPI-AB, Germany). This project also has allowed me to discuss, interact and develop novel exciting techniques to address the fundamental questions about the system.

Using cutting-edge technologies that involve high-resolution behavioural recording, automated image tracking and machine learning techniques (above), we have been able to reveal hidden networks and dynamics of the biological systems we are investigating. Such a development has been only possible via a collaborative initiative, where I constantly discuss the challenges and solutions of my framework with other biologists, mathematicians, physicists and computer scientists.

Caste dimorphism and collective motion

In another project, using termites from the genus Syntermes, we are also looking at the interactions between soldier and worker castes, to investigate how collective motion patterns are shaped. With this system, we can explore properly the link between caste dimorphism and coordinated collective motion of groups in controlled environments.