Optimal collective foraging by bee colonies

Supervisor(s)

Contact Dr Richard Mann or Dr Elizabeth Duncan to discuss this project further informally.  

Project description

This project will investigate the use of information in bee colonies from both a mathematical and a biological perspective. Starting from results from machine-learning research regarding decentralised optimisation algorithms the student will work towards a mathematical theory of optimal foraging by a decentralised colony of agents representing a colony of bees. This theory will extend upon previous theoretical work in mathematics by imposing realistic biological constraints upon agents such as limited motility and communication abilities. It will extend on biological theory by rigorously treating the acquisition and exploitation of information from first principles of information theory.

The ultimate goal of the project will be to make biological predictions about the behaviour of real bees that can be experimentally tested in the laboratory and/or field studies.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to obtain, a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree in Mathematics or a related discipline, or equivalent.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is 'Optimal collective foraging by bee colonies’ as well as Dr Richard Mann as your proposed supervisor.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office, e: maps.pgr.admissions@leeds.ac.uk.