Individual behaviour and collective order: the traffic dynamics of ants

  • Burd, Martin (Primary Chief Investigator (PCI))
  • Dussutour, Audrey (Chief Investigator (CI))

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

Ant colonies, like cities, must maintain a smoothly functioning transportation network to keep their economy going. How do they do it, when humans have such trouble? Recent research has shown that small behaviours and interactions between individual ants amplify or attenuate in ways that create appropriate traffic dynamics at the larger scale. In this project, we will resolve conflicting findings of the CI and APD, determine whether particular traffic dynamics improve the profit a colony obtains from foraging, how traffic patterns influence the choices ant colonies make about exploiting the food resources of their environment, and how leaf-cutting ant colonies regulate their investment in trail construction and maintenance.
Effective start/end date1/01/0631/12/08


  • Australian Research Council (ARC): A$244,000.00
  • Australian Research Council (ARC): A$223,020.00
  • Monash University