Complex/Dynamical Systems Seminar - Orit Peleg

Orit Peleg, Biofrontiers Institute and Department of Computer Science, University of Colorado Boulder

Collective Ecophysiology and Physics of Social Insects

Collective behavior of organisms creates environmental micro-niches that buffer them from environmental fluctuations e.g. temperature, humidity, mechanical perturbations etc., thus coupling organismal physiology, environmental physics and population ecology. This talk will focus on a combination of biological experiments, theory and computation to understand how a collective of bees can integrate physical and behavioral cues to attain a non-equilibrium steady state that allows them to resist and respond to environmental fluctuations of forces and flows. We analyze how bee clusters change their shape and connectivity and gain stability by spread-eagling themselves in response to mechanical perturbations. Similarly, we study how bees in a colony respond to environmental thermal perturbations by deploying a fanning strategy at the entrance that they use to create a forced ventilation stream that allows the bees to collectively maintain a constant hive temperature. When combined with quantitative analysis and computations in both systems, we integrate the sensing of the environmental cues (acceleration, temperature, flow) and convert them to behavioral outputs that allow the swarms to achieve a dynamic homeostasis. 

Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Engineering Center, ECOT 226
1111 Engineering Drive, Boulder, CO 80309

Event Type



Science & Technology, Research & Innovation


Faculty, Students, Graduate Students, Postdoc

College, School & Unit

Engineering & Applied Science


complex systems, dynamical systems

Applied Mathematics
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