Noa Pinter-Wollman

Assistant Professor

office:  4106 LS
lab:  LS 4202/4208

Recent Courses


B.Sc., Biology, Tel-Aviv University 2003
M.S., Animal Behavior, University of California, Davis 2004
Ph.D., Animal Behavior, University of California, Davis 2008

Research Interests

Many biological systems are complex aggregates of multiple agents working together towards collective, higher-order goals, and evolution acts on variation in these emergent collective properties. There is no central control dictating the activities of members in the assembly. Instead, agents use local signals that determine their behavior and are received through an intricate interaction network resulting in collective phenotypes. Thus, the composition of a group and the way its members interact affects the success of the group as a whole, just as the composition of any sports team dictates its success in the league.

The Pinter-Wollman lab examines the emergence of collective outcomes from group composition by combining field and lab studies with computer simulations, theoretical work, image analysis, and social network analysis.

Selected Publications

Pinter-Wollman N., Mi B. & Pruitt J.N., "Social stability influences the effect of keystone individuals on group performance", Behavioral ecology, - (2017) [link].

Pinter-Wollman N., Fiore S.M. & Theraulaz G., "Uncovering the impact of architecture on collective behavior", Nature Ecology and Evolution, 1 : 0111- (2017) .

Pruitt J.N., Howell K.A., Gladney S.J., Yang Y., Lichtenstein J.L.L., Spicer M.E., Echeverri S.A., & Pinter-Wollman N., "The behavioral hypervolume of predator groups and predator-predator interactions shape prey survival rates and selection on prey behavior", American Naturalist, 189 (3): 254-266 (2017) .

Lichtenstein J.L., Wright C.M., Luscuskie L.P., Montgomery G.A., Pinter-Wollman N. & Pruitt J.N., "Participation in cooperative prey capture and the benefits gained from it are associated with individual personality", Current Zoology, 189 (3): - (2017) .

Pruitt J.N., Bolnick D.I., Sih A., DiRienzo N. & Pinter-Wolman N., "Behavioral hypervolumes of spider communities predict community performance and disbandment", Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 283 : 20161409- (2016) .

Keiser C.N., Howell K.A., Pinter-Wollman N., & Pruitt J.N., "Personality composition alters the transmission of cuticular bacteria in social groups", Biology Letters, 12 : 20160297- (2016) .

Pinter-Wollman N., Keiser C.N., Wollman R., & Pruitt J.N., "The effect of keystone individuals on collective outcomes can be mediated through interactions or behavioral persistence", American Naturalist, 188 (2): - (2016) .

Keiser C.N., Pinter-Wollman N., Augustine D., Ziemba M., Hao L., Lawrence J., & Pruitt J.N., "Individual differences in boldness influence patterns of social interactions and the transmission of cuticular bacteria among group-mates", Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 283 : 20160457- (2016) .

Pruitt J.N., Wright C.M., Keiser C.N., DeMarco A., Grobis M.M., & Pinter-Wollman N., "The Achilles heel hypothesis: misinformed keystone individuals impair collective learning and reduce group success", Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 283 : 20152888- (2016) .

Pinter-Wollman N., "Nest architecture shapes the collective behavior of harvester ants", Biology Letters, 11 : 20150695- (2015) .