SMS scnews item created by Zhou Zhang at Tue 8 Jan 2013 2156
Type: Seminar
Modified: Wed 23 Jan 2013 2326
Distribution: World
Expiry: 19 Feb 2013
Calendar1: 25 Jan 2013 1400-1500
CalLoc1: AGR Carslaw 829
Auth: (zhouz) in SMS-WASM

AGR Seminar: Levin -- Collective Phenomena, Collective Motion, and Collective Action in Ecological Systems

Speaker: Prof. Simon Levin (Princeton)

Time: Friday, January 25, 2013, 2--3PM

Location: the University of Sydney, Access Grid Room, Carslaw 829

Lunch with the speaker: meet at 12:20PM near the Level 2 entrance 
to Carslaw Building. The lunch would be at Law Annex Cafe with 
reservation at 12:30PM. 


NOTICE: if you are local and plan to join the lunch and/or talk, 
we would appreciate an expression of interest by emailing 


This event is also announced at AMSI website.


Title: Collective Phenomena, Collective Motion, and Collective Action 
in Ecological Systems

Abstract: fundamental questions in basic and applied ecology alike 
involve complex adaptive systems, in which localized interactions 
among individual agents give rise to emergent patterns that feed 
back to affect individual behavior.  In such systems, a central 
challenge is to scale from the “microscopic” to the “macroscopic”, 
in order to understand the emergence of collective phenomena, the 
potential for critical transitions, and the ecological and evolutionary 
conflicts between levels of organization.

This lecture will explore some specific examples, from universality 
in bacterial pattern formation to collective motion and collective 
decision-­‐making in animal groups. It also will suggest that studies 
of emergence, scaling and critical transitions in physical systems 
can inform the analysis of similar phenomena in ecological systems, 
while raising new challenges for theory.

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