Department of Biology
Are individuals evolved to choose optimal spatial positions in a group?
Friday, October 31, 2008
Lecture Hall 8, 4:00 PM
Animals join groups in order to avoid predators, forage, and mate. However, once in the group, there are other evolutionary selection forces acting on individuals. For example, there may be more food at the edge of a group, but greater safety in the middle. So how does an individual respond to these conflicting selection pressures adaptively? Also, how would individual differences in hunger, sex, and size influence this decision? For instance, where should a large hungry female with depleted chemical defenses position herself compared with a satiated male in the same group? Evidence from fish, bird, and ungulate studies will be explored in this talk as well as studies on whirligig beetles, in which different environmental factors and individual states can be carefully manipulated and the position of individuals monitored. In addition, generalized simulation studies will be shown which show potential control rules for group positioning.
Dr. Romey is a Professor of Biology at SUNY Potsdam. He obtained his Ph.D. in Biology from Binghamton University and an M.S. in Marine Biology from the University of Rhode Island. He has published on a variety of ecological topics from: deep sea bivalves, to desert dwelling tiger beetles, alpine bee communities, and whirligig groups.