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PhD position in Physics of Collective Animal Behavior
Applications are invited for a PhD position at the Research Center on
Animal Cognition, Paul Sabatier University, Toulouse, France. The
position is funded by the Scientific Advisory Board of the Paul
Sabatier University. The candidate will work within the Complex
Dynamics and Interaction Networks in Animal Societies group
(http://cognition.ups-tlse.fr/dynactom/dynactomEn.html).

The general aim of this project is to investigate the behavioral
interactions involved in the coordinated motion of fish schools. Real
data gathered on well-controlled experiments realized on fish schools
will be analyzed using a combination of methods from quantitative
ethology (video image analysis, behavioral and trajectometry analysis)
and physics of collective motion, providing knowledge about the
spatiotemporal transmission of information in a fish school.

A first series of experiments will be dedicated to the characterization
of the spontaneous schooling behavior of a single fish, the
characterization of interactions among pairs of fish and investigating
the consequence of an increasing number of neighbors of the resulting
motion of fish without any external perturbation. We will then build
and validate a specific model from this data. A second series of
experiments will be performed on large groups of fish
(100<N<500) where an external and controlled local perturbation will be
introduced at a chosen location. The space-time development of the
school response will be captured using high-speed highresolution
imaging. The analysis of the experimental response data will provide a
quantitative, statistically significant map of fast reaction of a group
to a local perturbation.

The work will be conducted in close collaboration with a group of
statistical physics and a group of applied mathematics.

The ideal candidate combines a strong background in statistical physics
with excellent programming skills (C , MatLab) and some biological
knowledge. Experience with Collective behavior models, data analysis,
non-linear dynamical systems, or computational modeling would be an
advantage. Proficiency in spoken and written English will be well
appreciated.

For further information about this position, contact Dr. Guy Theraulaz,
theraula@cict.frl, or Dr. Jacques Gautrais, gautrais@cict.fr.
Application letters including a CV, research experience and a short
statement of research interests should be sent by email to Dr. Guy
Theraulaz.

Last update by EDT Phénomène non linéaire on Monday 9 May 2011