The Systems Behaviour Lab is part of the Department of Biology at Tokyo Metropolitan University. We are a multinational laboratory working on behaviour, ecology, and evolution of social organisms. Our group focuses on social behaviour, complex systems biology, socio-ecology, evolutionary ecology and biogeography, using social model systems. We use a combination of field and laboratory based empirical studies and computer models.

Dr Adam L Cronin
Associate Professor

I am interested in the evolution and ecology of social organisms, and how different social systems, and the flexibility inherent in social systems, permits organisms to respond to environmental variation and formulate adaptive responses to life-history trade-offs. To this end I use field and laboratory based studies of hymenopteran model systems (bees, wasps and ants) to examine various questions regarding individual to colony level behavioural strategies in an eco-evolutionary context.

Department of Biological Sciences
Graduate School of Science
Tokyo Metropolitan University
1-1 Minami-Osawa, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo, 192-0397, Japan

Dr Isaac Planas-Sitjà
Assistant Professor

I combine observational and modelling approaches using different insect groups (eg: cockroaches, ants, bees) and fish (eg: sticklebacks) to study the behaviour of social and gregarious species, with focus on ultimately furthering our understanding of ecological and evolutionary challenges. During my PhD I investigated how inter-individual behavioural differences and social interactions affect the collective behaviour of group-living insects. More recently I expanded my research to the ecological scale by combining field work, genetics and modelling to better understand the life-history trade-offs that drive and maintain different phenotypes within populations and assess the impact of invasive species on local community ecology.

Dr. Marta Quitián
Visiting fellow

I am interested in how environmental factors shape species interactions and hence ecosystem dynamics. I obtain comprehensive data on species interactions in the field. Using ecological network analysis and trait-based approaches (i.e. functional diversity indices and functional trait space projections), I detect disruptions on ecosystem functioning. In the past, I focused on seed dispersal and investigated the impact of habitat fragmentation on mutualistic interactions among frugivorous birds and fruiting plants across an elevational gradient in a tropical mountain forest of Ecuador. My current research focuses on pollination and employs ecological network analysis to assess the impact of habitat loss and invasive species on the pollination networks of the remote Ogasawara islands in Japan.

Ha Nguyen
PhD candidate

Social immunity in facultatively social bees

Bees cover a wide range of living organizational forms, from solitary to obligately social. There are some species have the ability to transit from solitary to group living and vice versa (facultatively social species). This is one of the most exciting aspects of social evolution in bees, and it is the ideal model to test scientific hypotheses. Currently, I am studying about evolutionary ecology of social immunity, and using bee as a research model to make a comparisons between social species including individual immunity and social immunity, in social and solitary colonies to explore adaptive changes in these mechanisms.

Takuto Sakai
Masters candidate

Influence of group composition on collective performance in Camponotus ants

Kaito Takenaka

Masters candidate

Pollination ecology

Manolo Benitez

Masters candidate

I am primarily interested in Hymenopteran ecology. My focus is on social immunity within the species Ceratina okinawana and observing differences between social and solitary nests. 

Jo Funatsu (B4)

Ryoma Nishimura (B4)

Daisuke Suzuki (B4)

Akiya Sato (B4)

Lab Alumni

Diyona Putri (PhD)

Maki Morooka (Masters)

Masako Yamada (Masters)

Yuki Matsuo (Masters)

Kazutaka Shoji (Masters)

Masanori Yokozawa (B4)

Midori Yamamura (B4)

Yukiko Tamazawa (B4)

Chihiro Mishima (B4)

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