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Unit of Social Ecology

The Unit is interested in the organisation of animal societies and study their underlying  physiological and  ethological mechanisms as well as the adaptative value of collective patterns put in an ecological perspective.  Both experimental and theoretical studies are mainly conducted  on social insects (ants, honeybees,...) but also on presocial/gregarious animal species as well as on societies of artificial agents (microrobots).  We identify the generic rules that shape spatial structures ( trail network, nest construction,...), temporal  patterns (activity rythms,...) and social organization (division of labour, task specialization,...).  The practical issues of this research involve the development of new modalities to control animal populations as well as the assessment of their impact on the environment (e.g. impact of ant fauna on vegetation,...). 


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