Collective Behaviour - Summer Seminar Series 2022
The Statistical Physics of Flocks and Swarms
Prof. Irene Giardina, Department of Physics, Sapienza University of Rome
This event is part of an event series „CASCB Summer Semester Series 2022“.
Flocks and swarms represent iconic examples of living active matter, where motile interacting individuals give rise to emergent global patterns. Despite the great complexity of their biological components, these groups obey robust statistical laws and can be described within a statistical physics approach. In this talk I will review our current understanding of these systems. Using experimental evidence and theoretical modeling I will show how conservation laws, interactions and motility combine together leading to non-trivial dynamics and out-of-equilibrium features on the large scale. Our analysis helps explain the mechanistic origin of efficient collective behavior in living groups and unveils new challenges in the statistical physics of active systems.
Irene Giardina is Professor of theoretical physics at the Department of Physics, Sapienza University of Rome.
She received her M.S. in 1994 from the University of Pavia and her Ph.D. in 1998 from the Sapienza University of Rome. After postdoctoral stays at the Department of Theoretical Physics, Oxford and at Institut de Physique Théorique, CEA Saclay, she moved to the Institute for Complex Systems, CNR in Rome. In 2013 she joined the faculty of the Department of Physics, Sapienza, where she currently coordinates the Master program in Biophysics.
After working for several years on the statistical physics of glassy behavior, Dr Giardina's research focused on the physics of biological systems. In 2005 she founded with Andrea Cavagna the COBBS lab (Collective Behavior in Biological Systems), the first lab to collect 3D large-scale experimental data in the field on flocking and swarming behavior, and to build theory starting directly from the data.
In her research, she applies a statistical physics approach to understand how collective behavior emerges in animal groups and – more broadly – in biological systems.
In 2021 she was awarded, together with A. Cavagna, the Delbruck prize in Biological Physics of the American Physical Society.