I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Collective Behavior at the Max Planck Institute for Animal Behavior in Konstanz, Germany. As a theoretical biologist with a background in physics and engineering, I use simulations and quantitative methods to investigate how animal groups process information, adapt to their environment, and function as a group – for example during exploration, responding to environmental perturbations, and foraging. My current projects are with honey bees, termites, fish, and rats.
Current Research projects
- Collective sensing and decision-making in decentralized systems. With Michael Smith, Medhavi Vishwakarma as part of the WIN (Wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchs) Programm for junior scientists, funded by Heidelberg Akademie der Wissenschaft. See our paper on comparing collective systems, and our recent preprint on behavioral variation in honeybees from long-term tracking data.
- Theoretical basis of foraging decisions. With Ahmed El Hady, Zack Kilpatrick. See our recent paper “Uncertainty drives deviations in normative foraging decision strategies”
- Trail formation and interactions of soldier and worker termites. With Helder Hugo, Iain Couzin, and Felix Oberhauser
Other than research, I’m involved with the MPI-PostdocNet working group on Equity and Diversity (see our seminar series), and was a co-organizer for TEDxKonstanz.
Outside of work, you’ll find me hiking, mountain biking, or climbing, or playing drums or guitar with our band Zed13.
You can reach me at jdavidson (at) ab.mpg.de