Elizabeth A. Hobson
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National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS)
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN USA
Starting July, 2016:
ASU-SFI Center for Biosocial Complex Systems
Santa Fe Institute & Arizona State University
|Summary of research interests & projects
I am a biologist who specializes in investigating questions about behavioral ecology, especially those that increase our understanding of animal social interactions. I use a combination of observational, experimental, computational and theoretical techniques to determine how the behavior of individuals leads to the formation of group-level social structures.
Evolution of social structure and complex sociality, social network analysis, animal cognition, temporal dynamics of network structure, dominance hierarchies, social learning, fission-fusion dynamics.
Current & upcoming projects
I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) at the University of Tennessee where I am developing methods to define, quantify, and compare aspects of social complexity across a wide range of species.
My Ph.D. research focused on sociality in a small parrot species (the monk parakeet). I expanded on several aspects of my dissertation work during a short-term postdoc position with Simon DeDeo (Indiana University & Santa Fe Institute). We investigated how individual actions such as aggression contribute to the formation of emergent global social properties such as rank in a dominance hierarchy. Now at NIMBioS, I am adapting these methods to detect the level of social knowledge in many different species in order to link social interaction patterns with group social complexity.
Please visit this page for more information on my research projects.
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January / February 2016