Buildup of collective behavior in marching locust nymphs

Sun, 30/12/2012 - 10:30

Locust swarming is an astounding natural phenomenon. Yet, our understanding of the mechanisms leading to formation of swarms and the complex interactions between the swarm and the environment are still far from complete. In recent years, these questions have been put in the broader context of collective motion, relating to macroscopic synchronization and collective behavior of large numbers of moving individuals.

I will describe a comprehensive approach for a systematic investigation of the mechanisms and principal animal-animal interactions leading to the emergence of collective behavior in marching locusts swarms from new experimental results using custom-made multiple-target tracking algorithms, a statistical analysis of the dynamics within a swarm revealing the key interactions between individuals to modeling the swarm and a multiscale analysis of its dynamics.

Joint work with Amir Ayali and Yotam Ofir (TAU Biology) and Sagi Levi (BIUMath).