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 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.
Backpack Wireless Transmitters: Recording vocalizations during social interactions is essential for understanding the mechanisms of vocal learning and vocal development. Nonetheless, most social interactions dont occur in front a researchers microphone. Working with Timothy Wright at New Mexico State University I have developed a wireless microphone transmitter backpack system that transmits and records an real-time vocalizations during social interactions.
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.