Anna Dornhaus' main interest is understanding the evolution of

organization in groups. This includes how collective behaviors emerge

from the actions and interactions of individuals, but also the

ecological conditions that promote the evolution of particular

collective strategies. She studies as model systems social insect

colonies (bumble bees, honey bees and ants) in the laboratory and in the

field and uses mathematical and individual-based modeling approaches.

Recent work has included the role of communication in the allocation of

foragers to food sources and the relevance of this for mutualistic

interactions (e.g., in pollination or in ant-plant mutualisms); the

evolution of different recruitment systems in different species of bees

and how ecology shapes these recruitment systems; speed-accuracy trade

offs in decision-making and learning and how they affect signal

evolution; and whether different group sizes necessitate different

organizational strategies.