Margaret C. Crofoot is one of the leading scientists worldwide in the field of data-based analysis of the group behaviour of animals, for whom the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation awarded the University of Konstanz one of its renowned professorships with the same name in October 2017. With funds of € 5 million, the Humboldt Professorship is Germany’s most highly endowed research prize. The biologist, who previously conducted her research work at the University of California, Davis (USA) as well as at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, has now accepted the W3-professorship of Organismal Interactions at the University of Konstanz. With Margaret C. Crofoot, the team of top-class international researchers of the new Cluster of Excellence “Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour” at the University of Konstanz now has an additional international member.
“Now that Margaret Crofoot is joining our growing leading-edge research centre, we’re fulfilling a further part of the vision that we have for our new Cluster of Excellence, the “Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour” at the University of Konstanz: To bring together in Konstanz globally leading experts in collective research from the fields of biology, computer science, behavioural economics and psychology as well as social and decision sciences,” says Professor Kerstin Krieglstein, Rector of the University of Konstanz. Alongside the Cluster of Excellence “The Politics of Inequality,” the “Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour” is one of the two Clusters of Excellence at the University of Konstanz being funded within the Excellence Strategy of the national and federal governments.
“How do animal herds in the wild coordinate collective decisions for group movement?” For questions in the young field of research of “Movement Ecology”, Margaret C. Crofoot numbers amongst the pioneers. Using GPS technology, the biologist was able to solve one of the key problems of field research: The GPS transmitters can register and record to the very second the positions and movements of each individual animal in a group. In order to analyse the group dynamics of the many small-scale interactions for the entire animal collective, Margaret C. Crofoot combines data from the transmitters with telephotos taken by drones that provide a picture of the vegetation and ambient conditions, as she did recently in a highly respected study on the decision behaviour of baboons. These data can be used to understand the complex decision behaviour of a group of animals.
Margaret C. Crofoot, who is already associated with the University of Konstanz through her role as board member both of the ICARUS space project at the University of Konstanz and of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, will take up her post as Alexander von Humboldt Professor at the University of Konstanz on 1 June 2019.
- Professor Margaret C. Crofoot, PhD, has accepted the call to the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship for Organismal Interactions at the University of Konstanz
- Germany’s most highly endowed research prize with funds of € 5 million
- Margaret C. Crofoot will then be part of the top-class international research team of the new Cluster of Excellence “Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour” at the University of Konstanz.
- Margaret C. Crofoot is one of the leading biologists worldwide in the field of data-based analysis of group behaviour in animals
- Commencement date of the professorship: 1 June 2019
Press information: No. 115/2018