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mardi 6 avril — 14:00

Statistical physical description of animal displacements

Denis Boyer (UNAM)

par Pierre Pujol - 6 avril 2010

The movement patterns of many living organisms, ranging from insects, seabirds or primates, are well described by power-law probability distributions. Unlike random walkers, many animals use cognitive skills to navigate heterogeneous and changing environments. We present modeling approaches where agents use memory to take decisions on movement steps and update their knowledge depending on resource availability. These models reproduce several phenomena observed empirically such as spatially heterogeneous occupation patterns, power-law waiting time distributions, Levy-like step length distributions, or the emergence of home ranges. Systems of many weakly-interacting foragers can exhibit unusual cooperative properties. Some recent developments on the random search problem will also be presented.