Title: Collective Dynamics in Ant Raids
Speaker: Shawn Ryan (Postdoctoral Research Associate, Kent State University)
Abstract: I will present recent work developing a PDE/ODE model that captures collective motion in social insects, specifically army ants. A crucial part of everyday life for ants is raiding — efficient identification and acquisition of resources via chemical induced gradients. In the absence of any external forces, the model shows a transition to an ordered phase and local traffic dynamics (e.g., lane formation) throughout the course of a raid. In addition, evidence will be presented suggesting that the system exhibits a so-called continuous kinetic phase transition from the disordered to an ordered state as a function of certain system parameters. I will conclude by showing some future directions involving analysis of the corresponding coarse-grained macroscopic equations.