Liliana Salvador

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Hello! My name is Liliana Salvador and I am a PhD student in the program of Computational Biology at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia in Portugal working with Simon Levin in the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University.

My research interests are the ecology and evolution of animal movement, foraging strategies and collective animal behavior.

My emails are salvador _at_ or lcmsalvador _at_

What are your main interests?

My main interests are the study of

  • foraging strategies
  • patterns of animal movement
  • self-organization and emergent behavior

I am particularly interested in understanding the mechanisms underlying animals decisions about when and where to go while they are exploring their environment, searching for food and finding mates. The success of these routine activities depends on the searching strategies that the animals adopt. In the absence of any knowledge of the environment, an important question is: What statistical strategy will be the most efficient to find food? Or more specifically: Which is the distribution from where the organism should choose the duration of its forward movements?

What sorts of expertise can you bring to the group?

I have an undergraduate and master degrees in computer science, so I have some knowledge of complexity theory, kolmogorov complexity, information theory and theory of computation that were my main topics during my senior year and master thesis.

I can also bring to the group some programming skills mainly in C++ and Matlab that are the languages that I have been programming more lately.

What do you hope to get out of the CSSS?

I hope that attending CSSS would give me a solid understanding of the foundations and current state of complex systems research, and would help me select the most appropriate modeling techniques for the systems I am currently studying. I am also looking forward to the opportunity to share and develop new ideas with researchers from other disciplines and working on other complex systems.

Do you have any possible projects in mind for the CSSS?

One possible project that I would like to work on is the study of patterns of animal movement in a heterogeneous landscape. I would like to understand how different distribution of resources would change not only the statistical patterns of movement but also the foraging efficiency of animal’s groups.