A team of scientists has made a fundamental discovery about how fires on the edges of these forests control their shape and stability. Their study implies that when patches of tropical forest lose their natural shape it could contribute to the sudden, even catastrophic, transformation of that land from trees to grass.
Collective movement is one of the great natural wonders on Earth and has long captured our imaginations. But there’s a lot we don’t understand about how collective movement drives — and is driven by — broader ecological and evolutionary processes.
In a paper published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B, SFI Omidyar Fellow Andrew Berdahl, long-time collaborator Colin Torney (University of Glasgow), and co-authors, used drones to collect overhead footage of migrating caribou. This is the first paper to use drones to record the movement of individual animals within groups. It is also among the first to study social interactions within those groups as they migrate.
Though scientists have yet to find life beyond our own planet, the universe is rife with possibilities. Where to look, and how to recognize it when we find it, are questions physical biologist Chris Kempes explored during March 20 Santa Fe Institute Community Lecture. Watch his talk here.
A new analysis by External Professor Aaron Clauset asks us to re-think the current "long peace" in terms of historical trends of calm and conflict.
A working group brings scientists from diverse fields together to develop better quantitative models of optimal decision making.
A new paper by SFI External Professor Constantino Tsallis and Debarshee Bagchi shows which statistics are best applied to complex physical systems.
A themed issue in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B takes an interdisciplinary approach to address the mechanisms and impacts of human cultural evolution.
This February, the Santa Fe Institute hosts an international workshop to explore a more integrative approach to thinking about evolutionary biology.
No individual fish or bee or neuron has enough information by itself to solve a complex problem, but together they can accomplish amazing things. In research recently published in Science Advances, Eleanor Brush (University of Maryland), David Krakauer, and Jessica Flack address how this is possible through a study of the emergence of social structure in primate social groups.