Natural search algorithms as a bridge between organisms, evolution, and ecology

Andrew M. Hein, Francesco Carrara, Douglas R. Brumley, Roman Stocker, Simon Asher Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The ability to navigate is a hallmark of living systems, from single cells to higher animals. Searching for targets, such as food or mates in particular, is one of the fundamental navigational tasks many organisms must execute to survive and reproduce. Here, we argue that a recent surge of studies of the proximate mechanisms that underlie search behavior offers a new opportunity to integrate the biophysics and neuroscience of sensory systems with ecological and evolutionary processes, closing a feedback loop that promises exciting new avenues of scientific exploration at the frontier of systems biology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9413-9420
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 23 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


  • Encounter rates
  • Evolutionary strategy
  • Exploration-exploitation
  • Navigation
  • Sensing


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