584: Studying Smart Slime Molds and Collective Intelligence in Ant Colonies - Dr. Audrey Dussutour

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Manage episode 280567670 series 2394067
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Dr. Audrey Dussutour is a National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) Scientist at Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, France. Audrey studies animal behavior and collective intelligence in ant colonies and slime molds. In ant colonies, she examines how the ants regulate traffic to avoid traffic jams, and she creates algorithms that may help alleviate our own traffic jams. In slime molds, Audrey investigates the different cognitive abilities they are able to display even though they don’t have brains. Outside work, Audrey loves going out to the movies and watching DVDs. Some of her favorite directors are John Cassavetes and David Lynch, and she gets into sci-fi films as well. Audrey received a Masters Degrees in Ecology from Paul Sabatier University, a Masters Degree in Neurosciences and Ethology from the Free University of Brussels in Belgium, and a PhD in Animal Behavior working in laboratories from both of these universities. She next conducted postdoctoral research at Concordia University in Canada and at the University of Sydney in Australia. Audrey has received numerous awards and honors for her exceptional work, including the Adolphe Wetrems Award of the Belgian Royal Academy, the Young Investigator Award of the French Society for the Study of Animal Behavior, the Outstanding Paper Prize from the Journal of Experimental Biology, Lauréate du Prix Le Monde de la Recherche, and the Young Researcher Prize from the French Society for the Study of Animal Behavior. Audrey joined us for an interview to talk about her experiences in life and science.

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