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Deborah Gordon
Professor, Department of Biology
Clayman Institute Faculty Research Fellow 2011-12

Deborah Gordon’s research on the collective organization of ant colonies includes studies of the long-term demography and behavior of harvester ant colonies in Arizona; the factors that determine the spread of the invasive Argentine ant in northern California; and the ecology of ant-plant mutualisms in tropical forests in Central America. She is the author of two books, Ants at Work (2000) and Ant Encounters: Interaction Networks and Colony Behavior (2010). She has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences, and received Stanford’s Gores teaching award. She is interested in analogies between ant colonies and other distributed networks, and has given talks at TED, Xerox Park, Google Tech, NASA and related conferences.

For her fellowship, Professor Gordon will continue her research on the social networks of ants. Ants use the rate of interaction with others to regulate colony behavior. The goal is to understand how differences among individuals lead to colony resilience and flexibility.

Further information about Professor Gordon is available from her website.