Searching in Complex Environments


September 23, 2015 - 1:00pm
NW 243
About the Speaker
Jean-Baptiste Masson (Pasteur Institute)

Most motile organism have to navigate in complex varying environments to find food, locate mates and escape predators. The quality of sensing and response to external stimuli constitutes a basic element in the selective performance of living organisms. Search strategies have to match the environments statistical properties while being computable by the organism.

We will discuss search strategies at 3 scales : µm → mm with E.coli, mm → cm with drosophila larval and cm → m with both Red Palm Weevil and robotic searches. We will show chemotaxis in microfluidically controlled chemical fields and discuss chemtactic filters properties. We will discuss drosphila larvae dynamical behaviour in virtual environments. We will combine live behaviour classification with optogenetic neural activation (chrimson)s to test larval decision making. We will discuss similarities with bacterial chemotactic strategies and also show how to play multi-arm bandit game with larvae. We will especially focus on an interesting asymmetry in escape strategy. Finally, we will discuss searching in turbulent environments with limited space perception. We will show how to record odour path on insects trajectories and discuss the unexpected walking strategy of the red palm Weevil in response to its gathering pheromone.