With their ALliance for organismal Interaction AnalysiS (ALIAS), the University of Konstanz and the Max Planck Institut for Ornithology in Radolfzell have established an interdisciplinary research alliance dedicated to the study of collective behaviour and movement patterns in animals.
Using satellites to visually analyse huge amounts of data and combining these with earth survey and meteorological data, for instance, allow us to track individual animals as well as entire groups of animals in real time, to analyse their behaviour and interactions and to put them in relation to their environments.
Decoding the principles of collective animal decisions and movement patterns has far-reaching implications: it not only allows us to predict animal disease vectors (e.g. migrant birds – avian flu; fruit bats – Ebola) and the rise of crop killers (e.g. swarms of locusts), but also to use animal flight behaviour to predict natural disasters (e.g. volcanic eruptions, tsunamis etc.).
ALIAS will make an important contribution to expanding and consolidating the alliance partners’ internationally leading role as experts for animal telemetry, collective behaviour, data analysis and visualisation.