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Social behavior and the spread of disease in animal populations
Dr. Ewan Colman

This event took place on 10th December 2018 at 11:30am (11:30 GMT)
Knowledge Media Institute, Berrill Building, The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom, MK7 6AA

The study of relationships within animal groups has provided many insights into the nature of social behavior. Despite this, finding a reliable measure of sociality that can be used to compare animal systems is an ongoing challenge. While investigating how behavior affects the spread of infectious diseases in an ant colony, my colleagues and I found a novel way to quantify the amount of social mixing that occurs within the ant population. We found that this measure could also be applied to data from a range of systems including sharks, bats, humans, and monkeys. In this presentation I will introduce our method and demonstrate how it can be used to compare social behavior across different animal societies. I will also discuss how this analysis improves our understanding of the connection between social behavior and the transmission of infectious diseases.

The webcast was open to 300 users

(50 minutes)

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