Elva Joan Hilda Robinson

Contact details

Type of addressPostal address
Postal codeYO10 5DD
CountryUnited Kingdom
Address lines
  • Biology
    University of York
    Wentworth Way
    York
    YO10 5DD

Phone: (01904) 325338

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Dr. Elva Joan Hilda Robinson

Senior Lecturer

Research interests

I am interested in the organisation of ant societies, specifically how the simple rules followed by individual ants interact to produce adaptive colony-level behaviours. I use Radio-Frequency IDentification (RFID) technology to investigate the allocation of the work-force to different tasks within the colony, and how this is affected by the responses of individuals to changes in task need. I also use RFID to study how simple individual decision rules can combine to produce unanimous collective decisions. I am developing a new model system, ant nest networks, to investigate how network structure relates to adaptive function. My previous work includes studying the organisation of waste-disposal and the organisation of foraging by the use of trail pheromones in pest ants. The robustness of ant societies is one of the key factors in their success and makes them a fascinating paradigm of self-organisation. In our modern world, overloaded with information, the necessity of decentralised control is becoming ever more pressing. Understanding more about how ants organise their societies in a flexible dynamic way could lead to new insights into many of our systems.