Centre for Behavioural Biology

The  is an interdisciplinary venture between Biological Sciences, Mathematics and Veterinary Sciences, providing excellent research facilities for the study of pure and applied animal behaviour and its mathematical modelling.

Many of the most exciting avenues of research on behaviour lie at the interface between 'classical' behavioural ecology and other disciplines. For example, integrating functional and mechanistic explanations of behaviour, or integrating individual decisions with population processes.

The centre has a rare combination of top theoreticians and empiricists who believe that it is by such collaboration, the sharing of problems and insights, that the greatest advances in biological understanding can be achieved.

While biologists look upon mathematics as a toolbox for building theoretical models, to mathematicians many of the techniques used by theoretical biologists are of research interest in themselves. For example, the mathematical theory behind state-dependent dynamic games remains largely uninvestigated. Our group encourages both pure and applied mathematical research on stochastic processes, game theory, genetic algorithms and neural networks.

Research topics

The centre engages in a broad range of research topics including: sexual strategies, such as signalling systems; foraging behaviour, for example daily or annual routines; life histories, for example where animals adopt evolutionarily optimal strategies in unpredictable environments; and social organisations such as those found in ant colonies.

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