The Cronin lab is part of the Animal Systematics Laboratory at Tokyo Metropolitan University. We are a multinational laboratory working on the behaviour, ecology, evolution and systematics of social insects. Our group focuses on social behaviour, complex systems biology, socio-ecology, evolutionary ecology and biogeography. We use a combination of field and laboratory based empirical studies and computer models.
Department of Biological Sciences
Graduate School of Science and Engineering
Tokyo Metropolitan University
1-1 Minami-Osawa, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo, 192-0397, Japan
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.
My research focuses on studying the evolution of collective behaviour and collective decision making. For this purpose, I combine experimental analyses (e.g. treatment and analysis of large individual and collective data) and theoretical approaches (stochastic and non-linear models) to study insects as a model system with wider applications to a large range of group-living organisms, including humans and the development of artificial ‘swarm’ systems. In the past, I have used the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana) as a model of gregarious species to better understand the implications of animal personality variation for collective decision making and how social learning occurs in a group. In my current research I employ a spatially-explicit model to investigate the evolutionary and ecological drivers of different reproductive strategies in social species. Additionally, this theoretical work will be validated by field work to obtain empirical data using the ant Myrmecina nipponica.
Diyona Putri (PhD candidate)
I am interested about Biodiversity Science (Insect plant-interactions, especially with respect to ants). My previous study was about biodiversity of ants and disturbance caused by invasive ants in a forest fragment surrounded by oil palm plantations. My PhD studies are on invasive ant species. Invasive species are a global threat to biodiversity and ecosystem health. The goal my research plan in the point of view of biodiversity conservation is how behaviour of invasive species is linked to behavioural traits and/or behavioural flexibility in invasive species, how this is influenced by habitat, and how invasion impacts native species. I am at present studying the invasive species Technomymrex brunneus in Japan, and hope to infer the biogeographic history of the invasion to identify invasion routes and help manage future invasions.
Masako Yamada (Masters)
Yuki Matsuo (Masters)