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Data-logging systems for social behavior: I am interested in using microcontrollers to collect large scale behavioral datasets in groups. In particular, I am developing embedded systems that explore how social interactions change across different timescales, and explore the mechanisms shaping the robustness or plasticity of social organization.
Working in collaboration with David White and Hayden Davies at Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario I have developed a RFID "smart nest" system. Each smart nest records the time and identity of cowbirds visiting a host nest, and can assess if individuals prospect specific nest sites, or preferentially follow others to nests.
I have also developed an automated system to record social networks in bobwhite quail. This system continually records social approaches between individuals providing a comprehensive picture of the within-group social organization of bobwhite coveys, and an unparalleled view on the dynamic changes of social interactions across different timescales (from minute-to-minute changes, to changes in the social network over months and years).
Sequential Interaction Networks: I am interested in statistical techniques that identify patterns in the moment-by-moment social exchanges between individuals, and quantify individual differences in the sequential organization of social behavior. I am currently developing novel statistical techniques that combines Markov-chain based analysis of behavioral sequences with social network statistics (ERGMs, diffusion analysis, and relational event models) to identify non-random sequences of interactions, and quantify how information flows between individuals over time.