Couzin named Searle Scholar

June 26, 2008, 3:20 p.m.

Iain Couzin, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton, has been named a 2008 Searle Scholar for his innovative research.

Couzin and 14 others from universities and research institutes in the United States were selected for conducting scientific investigations over the long term with the potential for making significant contributions to biology. Each Searle Scholar will receive $300,000 to support research programs over the next three years.

Couzin studies collective behavior in animal groups, as exhibited in flocks of birds, schools of fish and swarms of insects. Recently, he led a team that concluded that the collective motion of locusts is driven by cannibalism.

He earned his undergraduate degree in biology from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, his master's from Balliol College at the University of Oxford and his doctorate from the University of Bath. He joined the Princeton faculty in 2007, leaving a post at Oxford where he was working as a Royal Society University Research Fellow.

The funds to support the awards come from trusts established under the wills of John Searle, president of G.D. Searle & Co. of Skokie, Ill., and his wife, Frances.