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.
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