The cover of the "In the Swarm" Podcast

In The Swarm

A Collective Behaviour Podcast

Have you ever wondered if plants compete against each other in the wild? Or why birds fly in flocks? Such phenomena of collective behaviour can be found all around us in animals, humans, plants, robots – actually everywhere. Collective behaviour fascinates, but poses many puzzles, even for researchers. That is why the podcast “In the Swarm” has a look at this collective behaviour and how the world works. In every episode, Dr Nack Srismith, a postdoctoral researcher in the cognitive psychology lab at the University of Konstanz, interviews a researcher from the Cluster of Excellence Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour. The researchers come from all around the world with different backgrounds whether it be biology, psychology, computer science, and more, but they all have one thing in common: their love for swarms. Come join us and dive into the minds behind the hives! New episodes of the first season are released every two weeks.

Listen to the podcast on Spotify, Amazon Music, iHeart Radio, YouTube, Castbox, Pocket Casts, and RadioPublic.

Season 1 Episode 1

The collective podcasters

Researchers and members of the Cluster of Excellence Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour have set off on a journey to find out more about collective phenomena. They present the research of their colleagues and share their impressions in the podcast "In the Swarm". In the very first episode, get to know the podcast and the hard-working team behind it.

Release Date: 16 February 2024


Listen to "The collective podcasters"

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Season 1 Episode 2

The lion queens

How do lions hunt? How do researchers track these amazing animals to study different hunting strategies? In this episode, biologists Dr. Natalia Borrego and Dr. Genevieve Finerty introduce us to their research on the spatial ecology of lions.

Release Date: 29 February 2024


Listen to "The lion queens"

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Season 1 Episode 3

The bird puzzler

Have you ever seen a bird opening a puzzle box before? Once a bird figures out how to solve a puzzle, how do different techniques spread into the rest of the population? In this episode, biologist Dr. Michael Chimento joins us to discuss his research on attention in great tits (Parus major) as they socially learn to solve puzzles.

Release Date: 14 March 2024


Listen to "The bird puzzler

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Season 1 Episode 4

The classroom idol

How do social dynamics within the classroom influence pupils’ learning and social development? Are some students more at risk of discrimination than others? In this episode, educational scientist Prof. Jeanine Grütter explains the factors driving bullying and the potential remedies to create better school environments.

Release Date: 28 March 2024


Listen to "The classroom idol"

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Season 1 Episode 5

The plant commander

Do plants communicate to each other? From roots to leaves within individuals or between different plants species? Do plants behave as a collective? In this episode, biologist Dr. Kaz Uyehara talks about how scientists observe plant communication and behaviour.

Release Date: 11 April 2024


Listen to "The plant commander"

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Season 1 Episode 6

The risk-taker

How do humans perceive risk? When we evaluate risky situations, are we aware that we’re being influenced by others? In this episode, decision scientist Prof. Wolfgang Gaissmaier gives us insight into risk perception and communication within the human collective.

Release Date: 25 April 2024


Season 1 Episode 7

The robot swarmer

Are robots able to communicate with each other? Can they collaborate to achieve a common goal? In this episode, computer scientist Prof. Heiko Hamann talks about how simple robots create swarms to solve complex tasks efficiently.

Release Date: 9 May 2024


The team behind the podcast "In The Swarm." Copyright: Elisabeth Böker

Meet the team

Porträt Nack Srismith

The host of the podcast “In the Swarm” is member of the Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour, Dr Nack Srismith. Nack is a postdoctoral researcher in the cognitive psychology lab at the University of Konstanz and is very excited to be hosting the podcast and bring the interviewees and their swarms to you.

Porträt Christophe Bousquet

Dr Christophe Bousquet is a postdoctoral researcher studying how humans interact with each other when they eat together. He is one of the editors of “In the Swarm” and also co-voices the explanation segments in the episodes to clarify certain concepts touched upon by the researchers being interviewed.

Porträt Alex Chan

Alex Chan is a doctoral student who works on markerless 3D posture tracking to study the behaviour of birds. He is one of the editors of the podcast and co-voices the explanation segments in the episodes alongside Christophe Bousquet.

Porträt Albert van der Veer

Dr Albert van der Veer is a postdoctoral researcher studying the potential synchronization between people as part of the cognitive psychology lab at the University of Konstanz. For the podcast, Albert helps Nack Srismith compile the questions that are asked during the interviews.

Porträt Akhila Mudunuri

Akhila Mudunuri is a doctoral student who studies how fruit fly larvae interact with each other and how the brain is involved in these interactions. As part of the podcast team, she helps with the editing of the episodes.

Porträt Chi-Yu Lee

Chi-Yu Lee is a doctoral student whose research aims to understand the neural mechanisms of social behaviour. Chi-Yu is one of the main editors of the podcast.

Porträt Kira McCaffrey

Kira McCaffrey is a student assistant in science communication at the CASCB. She oversees the post-production and organization of the podcast and helps with the editing of the episodes.

Porträt Raphaela Heesen

Dr Raphaela Heesen is a postdoctoral researcher studying the social behaviour, communication, and emotions in primates. She acts as the quality control officer of the podcast, listening to the finished episodes and giving feedback.

Porträt Elisabeth Böker

Dr Elisabeth Böker is the science communication coordinator at the CASCB. Elisabeth helped organize and market the podcast, as well as assisted with the recording process.