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Ants and information



14:30 - 15:30


The Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL


Explore the hive mind of ant colonies with Dr Elva Robinson. Part of the 2014 Manchester Science Festival.

Image courtesy of Nigel R Franks

Event details

Ant colonies have an astounding ability to make coherent, collective decisions based on nothing more than the simple interactions between individual ants. This has made them one of the most successful groups on the planet, with over 12,000 species inhabiting every conceivable environment on Earth. This fascinating talk looks at the dynamics of ant societies, how scientists can gain insights into the way these bottom-up systems operate, and how they might inform the way we organise and communicate information.

Dr Elva Robinson is a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow based in both the York Centre for Complex Systems Analysis and the Department of Biology at the University of York. She studies the organisation of social insect societies, utilising lab experiments, fieldwork and computer modelling to identify the simple rules followed by individual members of a colony, and to determine how they interact to produce successful group-level behaviours.

Attending this event

This event will form part of the Manchester Science Festival 2014. Full programme details and ticketing information will be available on their website from 3 September 2014.

Enquiries: contact the events team.