Social network analysis is becoming a widely used tool for studying social behaviour of animals. However, getting started with animal social networks is often challenging. This workshop will introduce the fundamental concepts that are central in using this method correctly, including:
- How to define edges and construct networks
- How to visualise networks
- How to interpret network metrics
- How to perform permutation tests
- How to test hypotheses with network data
- Outstanding questions and future directions in animal social networks
The formal parts of the workshop will be mostly discussion-based. This will be followed by some worked examples, and plenty of time for students to work on their own data. By the end of this workshop, participants should have a better understanding of considerations and assumptions that arise from using social data, and how statistical methods can address issues such as non-independence and sampling bias.
Damien Farine will be starting as a Primary Investigator at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in December. Damien specialises on using quantitative approaches for studying the evolution and maintenance of sociality. He has been involved both in the developed of quantitative tools and their application in a range of empirical studies. His research on birds (both in wild and in captive experiments) and wild baboons uses simultaneous tracking of animal groups to gain insight into mechanisms that underpin the formation of social networks and the evolutionary consequences of group living.