Dr. Nicolas Perony


+41 44 632 84 39

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

Welcome to my personal research page; browse it using the tabs on the left.

February 2015 update: I have joined Tamedia Digital's new Data Analytics team. This page will no longer be updated.


This is my research explained using only the ten hundred most used words:

In the world, there are many animals who live together and also do things together, like going to places and looking for food. We know a bit how this works, but not completely. My job is to understand how exactly they do that, and especially what the way they move together has to do with whether they like each other or not (because lots of animals have friends too). I think this is a very important question, and so far not many people have thought about it.

So I use tiny computers on the animals and big computers in the office, and the tiny computers send numbers to the big computers and I draw a bigger picture to make sense of all this (sometimes it is not so easy).

Then I write and I talk about it, which is also a big part of my job.

And this is how I explain it when I can use a few more words than that:

I am a quantitative scientist working on the structure and dynamics of social groups, currently employed at ETH Zurich as a postdoctoral researcher at the Chair of Systems Design, and a lecturer for the Department of Management, Technology and Economics.

My research focuses on the link between collective movement and social structure, with an emphasis on animal groups. I mostly use behavioural and spatial data collected from wild animal populations using state-of-the-art telemetry techniques. I also implement simple behavioural rules in agent-based models to investigate the underlying mechanisms leading to collective behaviour in societies.

For more information, refer to the tabs on the left.