Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research position (Research Associate) based at the Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. This is a collaborative project between Vishwesha Guttal at IISc (https://teelabiisc.wordpress.com/) and Guy Theraulaz at CNRS, Toulouse France (https://crca.cbi-toulouse.fr/en/guytheraulaz/)
Role: Lead the experimental investigation part of the project, using schooling fish. Interface with both Indian and French teams. There is plenty of opportunity for travel and collaborations.
Project Description: Many biological systems, from mobile animal groups to cancer cell clusters show collective behaviours which are emergent properties that manifest only at the level of a group. A major function of collective behaviour is anti-predatory benefits like efficient predator avoidance. Few studies have examined the inter-individual interactions involved in information transfer during such collective predator avoidance, and even fewer studies have attempted to integrate empirical and theoretical results in this context. We will use a novel, integrated approach of modelling and controlled experiments to fill in this major gap in our understanding of collective threat evasion. We will use data-derived models to predict collective response patterns of fish schools to predation/threats. We will test those predictions through laboratory experiments in schools of a fish species (Etroplus suratensis or other suitable species) using a novel method of aversive conditioning that mimic a natural threat detection event.