ABS 2022
The causes and consequences of social interactions
Noa Pinter-Wollman. University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, United States

Animal social behavior emerges from interactions among individuals. Thus, it is important to understand both the mechanisms that shape interactions and their consequences. In this talk I will discuss how social interactions are shaped by individual differences in behavior. Because most animals need to be in proximity to interact, individual differences in animal movements are especially important for determining who interacts with whom. The structure of the environment itself can then have important implications for animal interactions through the ways in which spatial features facilitate or constrain animal movements. Social interactions can determine population-level processes such as information and disease transmission, which can impact fitness and shape the evolution of sociality. I will examine these causes and consequences of social interactions with examples from different social animals, from ants to elephants, and using an array of quantitative approaches including models, image analysis, and social network analysis. Uncovering the causes and consequences of social interactions is essential for understanding social behavior.