PhD, University of Cambridge
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Leeds,
Royal Society University Research Fellow, University of Sussex
Visiting Scientist, University of Cambridge
Collective decision making in animals
I apply theoretical and experimental approaches to a wide range of evolutionary and ecological questions. One of my current research interests is in animal collective decision-making. Collective decisions depend on the relevant information that individual group members hold, the dissemination and use of this information and, not least, on the conflicts of interest between group members. While cooperative sharing of information often benefits most group members, conflicts of interest can hamper such cooperation. How groups of individuals solve this dilemma is crucial for the efficiency of their decision making and also for the social stability of their group. The required collective decision making processes are shaped by natural selection. They consist of inter-dependent individual strategies that combine in a complex manner to a collective outcome. I study the evolution of decision making strategies at the level of individual group members and the consequent collective decision outcomes at the level of the group. The overall aim is to understand and predict collective behaviours in social animals and, ultimately, also in humans.
Conradt L, List C & Roper TJ 2013. Swarm intelligence: When uncertainty meets conflict. American Naturalist, 182, 592-610.
Couzin ID, Ioannou C, Demirel G, Gross T, Torney CJ, Hartnett A, Conradt L, Levin SA, Leonard NE 2011. Uninformed individuals promote democratic consensus in animal groups. Science 334: 1578-80.
Conradt L, Krause J, Couzin ID & Roper TJ 2009. Leading according to need in animal groups. American Naturalist 173, 304-312.
Conradt L & List C 2009. Introduction: Group decisions in humans and animal: a survey. Phil Trans Roy Soc B, 364: 719-742.
Conradt L & Roper TJ 2007. Democracy in animals: the evolution of shared group decisions. Proc Roy Soc B, 274: 2317-2326.
Conradt L & Roper TJ 2005. Consensus decision making in animals. TREE 20: 449-456.
Conradt L & Roper TJ 2003. Group decision-making in animals. Nature 421: 155-158.
PDFs of most of my publications are available in 'publications'
Conradt, L. (2013). Collective animal decisions: Preference conflict and decision accuracy. Interface Focus, 3(6):20130029. doi:10.1098/rsfs.2013.0029|
Conradt, L., List, C., & Roper, T. J. (2013). Swarm intelligence: When uncertainty meets conflict. American Naturalist, 182, 592-610. doi:10.1086/673253
Conradt, L. (2012). Models in animal collective decision-making: Information uncertainty and conflicting preferences. Interface Focus, 2, 226-240. doi:10.1098/rsfs.2011.0090
Couzin ID, Ioannou CC, Demirel G, Gross T, Torney CJ, Hartnett A, Conradt L, Levin SA & Leonard NE 2011. Uninformed individuals promote democratic consensus in animal groups. Science 334: 1578-80. Full text
Sueur C, King A, Conradt L, Kerth G, Lusseau D, Mettke-Hofman C, Schaffner C, Williams L, Zinner D & Aureli F 2011. Collective decision-making and fission-fusion dynamics: a conceptual framework. Oikos 120: 1608-1617. Full text
Conradt L & Roper TJ 2010. Animal group movements: When to go and where to go. Behavioural Processes 84: 675-677. Full text
Conradt L, List C & Roper TJ 2010. Consensus decisions in animals. In: The Encyclopedia of Animal Behaviour (ed. Wood, S. J.). Elsevier Press.
Conradt L, Krause J, Couzin ID & Roper TJ 2009. Leading according to need in animal groups. American Naturalist 173: 304-312. Full text
Conradt L & List C 2009. Group decisions in humans and animal: a survey. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B 364: 719-742. Full text
Conradt L & Roper TJ 2009. Conflicts of interest and the evolution of decision sharing. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B 364: 807-819. Full text
Lusseau D & Conradt L 2009. The emergence of unshared consensus decisions in bottlenose dolphins. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 63: 1067-1077. Full text
Conradt L & Roper TJ 2007. Democracy in animals: the evolution of shared group decisions. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 274: 2317-2326. Full text
Heinz S, Wissel C, Conradt L & Frank K 2007. Integrating individual movement behaviour into dispersal functions. Journal of Theoretical Biology 245: 601-609. Full text
Conradt L & Roper TJ 2006. Non-random migration behaviour at habitat boundaries in two British butterfly species: implications for dispersal. Ecology 87:125-132. Full text
Conradt L & Roper TJ 2005. Consensus decision making in animals. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 20: 449-456. Full text
Heinz S, Conradt L, Wissel C & Frank K 2005. Dispersal behaviour in fragmented landscapes: Deriving a practical formula for patch accessibility. Landscape Ecology 20: 83-99. Full text
Conradt L 2005. Concepts and models in the study of animal segregation. In: Segregation in Vertebrates (eds Ruckstuhl, K. & Neuhaus, P.), Cambridge University Press.
Conradt L & Roper TJ 2003. Group decision-making in animals. Nature 421: 155-158. Full text
Conradt L, Zollner PA, Roper TJ, Frank K & Thomas CD 2003. Foray Search: An effective dispersal strategy in fragmented landscapes. American Naturalist 161: 905-915. Full text
Roper TJ, Ostler JR & Conradt L 2003. The process of dispersal in badgers Meles meles. Mammal Review 33: 314-318. Full text
Conradt L, Corbet SA, Roper TJ & Bodsworth EJ 2002. Parasitism by the mite Trombidium breei on four UK butterfly species. Ecological Entomology 27: 651-659. Full text
Jackson TP, Roper TJ, Conradt L, Jackson MJ & Bennett NC 2002. Alternative refuge strategies and their relation to thermophysiology in two sympatric rodents, Parotomys brantsii and Otomys unisulcatus. Journal of Arid Environments 51: 21-34. Full text
Roper TJ, Jackson TP, Conradt L & Bennett NC 2002. Burrow use and the influence of ectoparasites in Brants' whistling rat Parotomys brantsii. Ethology 108: 557-564. Full text
Conradt L, Roper TJ & Thomas CD 2001. Dispersal behaviour of individuals in metapopulations of two British butterflies. Oikos 95: 416-424. Full text
Conradt L, Gordon IJ, Clutton-Brock TH, Thomson D & Guinness FE 2001. Could the indirect competition hypothesis explain inter-sexual site segregation in red deer? Journal of Zoology 254: 185-193. Full text
Roper TJ, Bennett NC, Conradt L & Molteno AJ 2001. Environmental conditions in burrows of two species of African mole-rat, Georhychus capensis and Cryptomys damarensis. Journal of Zoology 254: 101-107. Full text
Thomas CD, Bodsworth EJ, Wilson RJ, Simmons AD, Davies ZG, Musche M & Conradt L 2001. Ecological and evolutionary processes at expanding range margins. Nature 411: 577-581. Full text
Conradt L & Roper TJ 2000. Activity synchrony and social cohesion: a fission-fusion model. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 267: 2213-2218. Full text
Conradt L, Bodsworth EJ, Roper TJ & Thomas CD 2000. Non-random dispersal in Maniola jurtina: implications for metapopulation models. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 267: 1505-1510. Full text
Conradt L, Clutton-Brock TH & Guinness FE 2000. Sex differences in weather sensitivity can cause habitat segregation: red deer as an example. Animal Behaviour 59: 1049-1060. Full text
Conradt L 2000. Use of a seaweed habitat by red deer (Cervus elaphus L.). Journal of Zoology 250: 541-549. Full text
Conradt L, Clutton-Brock TH & Guinness FE 1999. The relationship between habitat choice and lifetime reproductive success in female red deer. Oecologia 120: 218-224. Full text
Conradt L, Clutton-Brock TH & Thomson D 1999. Habitat segregation in ungulates: are males forced into suboptimal foraging habitats through indirect competition by females? Oecologia 119: 367-377. Full text
Conradt L 1999. Social segregation is not a consequence of habitat segregation in red deer and soay sheep. Animal Behaviour 57: 1151-1157. Full text
Conradt L 1998. Could asynchrony in activity between the sexes cause intersexual social segregation in ruminants? Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 265: 1359-1363. Full text
Conradt L 1998. Measuring the degree of sexual segregation in group-living animals. Journal of Animal Ecology 67: 217-226. Full text
Roper TJ, Conradt L, Butler J, Christian SE, Ostler J & Schmid TK 1993. Territorial marking with feces in badgers (Meles meles) – acomparison of boundary and hinterland latrine use. Behaviour 127: 289-307. Full text
Publications without peer review process
Conradt L 2011. News and Views: When it pays to share decisions. Nature 471: 40-41. Full text
Conradt L 2011. Book review: The beauty of collective behaviour. Trends in Ecology & Evolution26: 322-323.
Roper TJ & Conradt L 2009. Childcare not enough to make a science career family-friendly. Nature 455: 1029. Full text
Conradt L 2008. Group Decisions: How (not) to choose a restaurant with friends. Current Biology 18: R1139-R1140. Full text
Neuhaus P, Ruckstuhl K & Conradt L 2005. Conclusions and future directions in the study of animal segregation. In: Segregation in Vertebrates (eds Ruckstuhl, K. & Neuhaus, P.), Cambridge University Press.
Conradt L & Thomas CD 2001. Systematic dispersal strategies in metapopulations.Advances in Ethology Supplements to Ethology, 34: 172. (Abstract)
Conradt L 1998. Causes and consequences of sex differences in habitat use in red deer (Cervus elaphus L.). Ph.D. thesis, University of Cambridge, UK.
Conradt L & Guinness E 1997. Habitat segregation and weather sensitivity in red deer(Cervus elaphus).Advances in Ethology Supplements to Ethology, 32: 172.
Conradt L 1993. Social and territorial behaviour in the European badger Meles meles L. MPhil thesis, Universitaet Tuebingen, Germany.