Elizabeth A. Hobson            


Postdoctoral Fellow
ASU-SFI Center for Biosocial Complex Systems
Santa Fe Institute & Arizona State University

Contact Information
Email me
Twitter: @Eliz_Hobson
Skype: EAHobson
Request a meeting time
Summary of research interests & projects

NOTE: I am in the process of archiving this site and moving my research site to a new domain. Please visit hobsonresearch.com for updates

I am a biologist who specializes in animal behavior and behavioral ecology. In my work, I seek to understand how and why individuals interact, what individuals know about their group's social structure, how they might use this information to make decisions about how to interact socially with others, and how these abilities evolved.

I am currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Santa Fe Institute, where I am studying the evolution of animal sociality. My goal is to use rigorous comparative methods and an evolutionary perspective to discover ways in which the extreme sociality of some species emerged, through investigating what individuals understand about their social worlds and the strategies individuals use to balance the costs and benefits of social living. Read more about my research here.

Upcoming events 

  • I will be presenting in #BOU17TC, "the first ever general ornithology Twitter Conference" on November 28th [conference info]
  • I will be visiting New Mexico State University in February to give a seminar talk (and visit my old department!).

Recent news & updates

September 2017
  • My new paper, co-authored with my former lab-mates Grace Smith-Vidaurre and Alejandro Salinas-Melgoza, was published in PLOS ONE. In it, we describe the very recent and on-going Monk Parakeet invasion in Mexico. [full text] [press release] [press coverage in Nature News]
July-August 2017
  • I was invited to Arizona State to give a colloquium talk called "Understanding the evolution of social knowledge through conflict" for their Evolution of Social Complexity Colloquium. I had a great visit and really enjoyed meeting with the faculty, postdocs, and grad students. 
  • I attended the Behaviour meeting in Estoril Portugal and presented a poster called "The hidden structure of dominance hierarchies". This project is a collaboration with Dan Monster and Simon DeDeo.
  • I attended the second joint McDonell Foundation / Santa Fe Institute postdoc conference. With Eleanor Brush, we led a research jam called "How hard is sociality?"
June 2017
  • I attended the Animal Behavior conference in Toronto and presented a talk called "The hidden structure of dominance hierarchies". This project is a collaboration with Dan Monster and Simon DeDeo.
May 2017
  • Along with other resident postdocs at SFI, I completed the 2017 "72 Hours of Science". The paper, "On the records" is available here.