Perony, Nicolas, Dr.

Nicolas Perony

ETH Zurich
Dr. Nicolas Perony
Chair of Systems Design
WEV G 204
Weinbergstrasse 56/58
8092 Zurich

Phone: +41 44 632 84 39
Fax: +41 44 632 18 80

2013: This page is no longer curated; its content is now at

February 2012 update

I have recently defended my PhD thesis, which was subsequently awarded the ETH medal. A PDF version of the dissertation can be downloaded here.

I have now started working as a postdoc in the same group. My research focuses specifically on the link between social structure and collective movement in animal groups.

For more frequent updates, check out the News section.

Overview of PhD project

I started in 2008 an interdisciplinary PhD project under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Frank Schweitzer, and co-supervision of Prof. Dr. Barbara Koenig. In order to get insights from behavioural biologists and gain access to animal data, I work in partnership with the groups of Prof. Dr. Barbara Koenig, Prof. Dr. Gerald Kerth, and Prof. Dr. Marta Manser.

My interests lies in the understanding and the description, both qualitative and quantitative, of the social structure and dynamics of animal groups. I use data coming from long-term behavioural biology projects on different social mammal species (most notably wild house mice and Bechstein's bats) combined with methods from network theory and generally statistical physics, in order to investigate the structural and dynamical properties of social groups in animals. In addition to this descriptive approach, I use agent-based modelling techniques to derive simple rules of association underlying the complex features observed in animal groups, and study the universality of some of these rules across different social species.

Topics of interest

Social physics
Behavioural Ecology


Peer-reviewed journals
Peer-reviewed conferences
Upcoming publications

Talks at conferences, workshops and invited seminars

(please send me an email if you would like to get a copy of a talk's slides.)

Upcoming talks
Past talks


Awards and grants


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