Experimental analysis and modelling of the behavioural interactions underlying the coordination of collective motion and the propagation of information in fish schools

Abstract : Fish schools are systems in which thousands of individuals can move in a synchronised manner in a changing environment, with endogenous perturbations (e.g. when a congener leaves the group) or exogenous (e.g. the attack of a predator). The coordination of fish schools, decentralised, is not completely understood yet. If the mechanisms underlying social interactions discussed in previous studies qualitatively match the social patterns observed in nature, the quantification of these interactions and the quantitative match between individual measurements and collective patterns are still sparse in recent works and are the main focus of this thesis. This work combines closely experimental and modelling methods in order to investigate the links between the individual behaviours and the patterns observed at the collective scale. We have characterised and quantified the interactions and mechanisms at the origin of, first, the coordination of individuals in fish schools and, second, the propagation of information, when the group is under endogenous or exogenous perturbations. This thesis focuses on one freshwater fish species, the rummy-nose tetra (Hemigrammus rhodostomus), and is the result of a diversity of experimental methods, statistical analyses and modelling, at the interface of ethology, statistical physics and computational sciences.
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Valentin Lecheval. Experimental analysis and modelling of the behavioural interactions underlying the coordination of collective motion and the propagation of information in fish schools. Ecology, environment. Université Paul Sabatier - Toulouse III, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017TOU30361⟩. ⟨tel-02287362⟩

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