Phase separation: a new mechanism for ecological patterns

Have you ever wondered what a clump of mussels, a herd of grazers, or a spot of bacteria under the microscope have in common? All these aggregations follow from similar physical movement process, where organisms move a lot when alone, but move less when in aggregation.

We outline this new principle in a paper that just appeared online in Physics of Life Reviews, The paper was a collaboration with first author Quan-Xing Liu (a former PhD student of mine) Max Rietkerk, Peter Herman, John Fryxell, and Theunis Piersma.

Paper: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1571064516300689

Pdf: Link to Liu’s Researchgate.

(Elk photo is from: https://chrisandmattcycleacrossamerica.wordpress.com)

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