Romain Clément, PhD

Behavioural ecologist, Data scientist, Naturalist

As a naturalist with a background in behavioral ecology, I have always had a strong interest in nature’s diversity. I have been monitoring species of amphibians, reptiles, small mammals, butterflies, dragonflies and other insects for the Stiftung Naturschutz Berlin in Berlin and surroundings, as well as regularly in France and the Eastern United States where I contributed to the Maryland Biodiversity Project, and whenever possible on research field trips (Greece, Italy, Trinidad & Tobago, Costa Rica, Mexico). I am also very active on the iNaturalist citizen science platform, where I regularly post observations.

My PhD focused on understanding various aspects of leadership and collective decision making. Using wild freshwater fish, I investigated how evolutionary pressures such as predation and habitat affect group decision making. Working on humans allowed me to tackle more complex decision processes and look into the underlying mechanisms that allow groups to make decisions that are better than even their best members. While at the IGB, I also have been actively involved in a multidisciplinary team developing a robotic fish system that is used to study aspects of collective behavior, leadership, collective decision making and personality in fish. During my post-doc in the New York University Tandon School of Engineering in Brooklyn, I investigated the effect of pharmaceuticals on individual behavior and social dynamics in zebrafish using interactive robots.