Environmental variation, individual information and group performance

Friday seminar by Matina Donaldson-Matasci


Many organisms have evolved to collect information about a changing, uncertain environment. What happens when different individuals receive different information about the same environment? Does this affect the strategies they use for processing, using and perhaps sharing that information? What are the impacts on fitness? I will approach these questions from three different perspectives: (1) an information-theoretic model of bet-hedging and developmental plasticity in an uncertain environment; (2) a combination of lab experiments and mathematical models of soldier deployment in colonies of turtle ants; and (3) field experiments with pollen-foraging honey bees. In these three contexts, I will explore the relationship between environmental variation, information and fitness and how this may shape the evolution of information flow in individuals, social groups, and populations.

Matina Donaldson-Matasci
Dornhaus Lab
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona, USA


Published Mar. 11, 2013 10:39 AM - Last modified Mar. 14, 2013 10:12 AM