I am broadly interested in collective behavior in biological and social systems, and the ways in which we can characterize and understand these systems using quantitative tools. My work focuses primarily on understanding how animals in groups make collective decisions about where to move, and I am particularly interested in the role that both acoustic communication and social relationships play in shaping these dynamics. I combine analysis of movement, acoustic, and environmental data with mathematical modeling to reveal the factors that govern individual movement decisions, and ultimately to understand how they scale up to produce the patterns of collective movement we see in nature.
I am currently a Gips-Schüle Junior Research Group Leader and Zukunftskolleg Research Fellow at the University of Konstanz, where I lead the Communication and Collective Movement Research Group (CoCoMo). I am also a member of the Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour.
Prior to coming to
University of Konstanz, I held postdoctoral positions at the University of
Zurich and the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, where I studied
communication and collective decision-making in meerkat groups. I completed my
PhD in Quantitative and Computational Biology at Princeton University as a
member of the Couzin lab, with my thesis work focusing on collective animal
behavior in fish and baboons. During my undergraduate years, I studied physics
and biology at Swarthmore College. My interest in complex systems was sparked
by participating in a summer research program at the Santa Fe Institute in
2008, and I have been hooked ever since.