The scientific study of networks - computer, social, and biological - has received an enormous amount of interest in recent years. However, the network approach has been applied to the field of animal behaviour relatively late compared to many other biological disciplines. Understanding social network structure is of great importance for biologists since the structural characteristics of any network will affect its constituent members and influence a range of diverse behaviours. These include finding and choosing a sexual partner, developing and maintaining cooperative relationships, and engaging in foraging and anti-predator behavior. This novel text provides an overview of the insights that network analysis has provided into major biological processes, and how it has enhanced our understanding of the social organisation of several important taxonomic groups. It brings together researchers from a wide range of disciplines with the aim of providing both an overview of the power of the network approach for understanding patterns and process in animal populations, as well as outlining how current methodological constraints and challenges can be overcome.
Animal Social Networks is principally aimed at graduate level students and researchers in the fields of ecology, zoology, animal behaviour, and evolutionary biology but will also be of interest to social scientists.
Jens Krause is professor of fish biology and ecology at Humboldt University, Germany. He has published over 150 papers and several books on topics such as collective behaviour, social networks and swarm intelligence. Richard James is a senior lecturer at the University of Bath, UK. His research interests centre around the development and use of computational models and analyses to interpret biological data. Dan Franks is reader in the department of biology and the department of computer science at the University of York, UK. He has published on topics such as social networks, collective behaviour, life-history evolution, and predator-prey evolution. Darren Croft is a Associate Professor of animal behaviour at the University of Exeter, UK. His research focuses on the ecology and evolution of group-living n species raging from fresh water fish to killer whales.