The aim of this multidisciplinary meeting is to bring together physicists and biologists to discuss experimental and theoretical approaches for studying behaviour in living systems. Speakers will combine an introduction aimed at a broad audience with results from their latest research. Topics covered will include search strategies and foraging, simplicity underlying complexity, sensing and migration, and decision-making. These topics span multiple scales from single cells and individuals to collectives.
Biological systems are often conceptualised as networks of interacting genes and proteins. Nevertheless, a simple analysis of the fundamental genetic programs is often not sufficient to explain higher-level functions such as multi-cellular aggregation, tissue organization, embryonic development, and collective behaviour of groups of individuals. Furthermore, various aspects of these processes are often emergent properties of the underlying complex system, irrespectively to its microscopic details. In the past few years, larger scale experiments allowed the construction of statistical mechanics models of biological systems directly from real data, producing immense progress in our understanding of emergent collective behaviour in biology.
Conference image: "particle simulation", courtesy of http://t-linked.com