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Simon Garnier

Garnier, Simon J.
Assistant Professor, biological sciences
428A CKB
About Me

I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Federated Department of Biology of the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and Rutgers University. I am the head of the Swarm Lab (, an interdisciplinary research lab that studies the mechanisms underlying Collective Behaviors and Swarm Intelligence in natural and artificial systems. The Swarm Lab started to operate in July 2012


2009-2012: Postdoctoral Researcher - Princeton University (USA).

2004-2008: PhD in Ethology - University of Toulouse (France).

2002-2004: M.Sc. in Neuroscience, Behavior and Cognition - University of Toulouse (France).

1999-2002: B.Sc. in Biochemistry, Cellular Biology and Physiology - University of Bordeaux II (France)

  • Entomological Society of America
  • Animal Behavior Society
  • International Society for Artificial Life

2012-Present: Editor of Swarm Intelligence, the principal peer reviewed publication dedicated to reporting research and new developments in this multidisciplinary field


Co-organizer of the graduate course "Social Evolution and Behavior" at Rockefeller University

Research Interests

My work is related to various research fields, including ethology, experimental psychology, cognitive and social sciences and swarm intelligence.

I am mainly interested by the emergence of intelligent collective behaviors in groups of social animals. I dedicate a part of my work on the observation, description and modelling of the self-organized processes leading to consensus decision making in social insect colonies and schools of fish. I also study phenomena related to traffic organization in ants and human beings. Finally, I apply the principles underlying self-organization in social animals to the coordination of robotics swarms, especially to perform efficient collective decisions in unreliable environments.

My work always relies on a strong experimental background that supports the design of data-driven models. I believe that theoretical and experimental work should proceed together and emulate each other as much as possible

Current Research

See for a list of ongoing projects at the SwarmLab

Selected Publications
  • Pérez-Escudero, Alfonso, Miller, Noam, Hartnett, Andrew T., Garnier, Simon, Couzin, Iain D., de Polavieja, Gonzalo G.: Estimation models describe well collective decisions among three options. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110 (37), pp. E3466-7, 2013.
  • Garnier, Simon, Tucker, Murphy, Lutz, Matthew, Hurme, Edward, Leblanc, Simon, Couzin, Iain D.: Stability and responsiveness in a self-organized living architecture. In: PLoS Computational Biology, 9 (3), pp. e1002984, 2013.
  • Garnier, Simon, Combe, Maud, Jost, Christian, Theraulaz, Guy: Do ants need to estimate the geometrical properties of trail bifurcations to find an efficient route? A swarm robotics test bed. In: PLoS Computational Biology, 9 (3), pp. e1002903, 2013.
  • Miller, Noam, Garnier, Simon, Hartnett, Andrew, Couzin, Iain D.: Both information and social cohesion determine collective decisions in animal groups. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110 (13), pp. 5263-5268, 2013.
Other Publications

See for a complete list of publications