The evolutionary biologist Jessica Flack seeks the computational rules that groups of organisms use to solve problems. An evolutionary biologist at the Santa Fe Institute, studies how flocks of birds, networks of neurons, slime molds and other biological collectives jointly process information to arrive at group behaviors.
There are many patterns of collective behavior in biology that are easy to see because they occur along the familiar dimensions of space and time. Think of the murmuration of starlings. Or army ants that span gaps on the forest floor by linking their own bodies into bridges. Loose groups of shoaling fish that snap into tight schools when a predator shows up.