Alex studies the evolution of social and collective behaviour in animals – the ways single individuals come together to form much larger groups, and the behavioural, cognitive, and neuroanatomical mechanisms that need to evolve to facilitate group living. His research program encompasses traditional field behavioural ecology, computational ethology, automated animal tracking, neurobiology, and evolution, aiming to understand both the mechanisms and the outcomes of social behaivour across species. His lab is primarily field-focused, attempting to understand animal behaviour in the places it has evolved, and he works in Lake Tanganyika, the Mediterranean Sea, Coral Reefs in the Caribbean and Red Sea, as well as Central American rainforests.
He is a Principal Investigator (Research Group Leader) at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, heading up the Comparative Evolution of Social Behaviour Research Group, and sits on the editorial boards of The American Naturalist and Movement Ecology. He is also active at the interface of science, art, and community engagement, working with artists and academies like SUPERFLEX, TBA-21, and Tomas Saraceno. Previously, Alex was the Integrative Biology Fellow, working in collaboration with Mike Ryan, Dan Bolnick, and Hans Hofmann at UT Austin, and before that a JSPS fellow in Osaka working with Masanori Kohda. He completed his PhD with Rob Brooks at the University of Sydney, and did his undergraduate honours thesis with Madeleine Beekman and Ben Oldroyd at the University of Sydney.
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