Andrew Berdahl

Complexity Postdoctoral Fellow

Omidyar Postdoctoral Fellow

Andrew is fascinated by the striking patterns and behaviours exhibited by large groups of animals such as schools of fish and flocks of birds. These groups are canonical examples of complex systems – rich group-level phenomena arising from interactions between many relatively simple constituents. A benefit of grouping is that the group, as a whole, may act as a large sensory array and a distributed computer. This collective intelligence can help organisms in groups climb gradients associated with resources or improve their ability to find their way during migrations. Andrew combines experiments, empirical data, computer simulations and theory to explore collective sensing and navigation in mobile animal groups. He focuses on both the mechanisms behind the emergent group-level behaviours and also the implications of such group-level behaviours for population and ecosystem dynamics.

Andrew received his Ph.D. from Princeton University, supervised by Iain Couzin and Simon Levin in the department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. Prior to that he studied physics, first at the University of Waterloo where he earned a BSc and then with the Complexity Science Group for an M.Sc. at the University of Calgary, under the supervision of Jörn Davidsen and Maya Paczuski.