I am interested in social networks, collective behavior, and information in social systems—ranging from ant colonies to online social networks. Through the lens of self-organization, I examine how these group-level phenomena can emerge from individual-level behavior. My work spans the biological and social sciences and has included projects such as:
- The self-organization of division of labor and social networks structure in social insect colonies.
- How politically polarized social networks can emerge from organic information cascades (driven by news coverage).
- Assessing the impact of fake news online and modeling interventions to decrease the spread of misinformation.
My work is computational and theoretical—often employing agent-based models—but I attempt to validate my models with empirical data to ensure they are grounded in biological/social reality. I often do this by collaborating with expert empiricists, including myrmecologists and computational social scientists.
- Tokita CK, Tarnita CE. (2020). Social influence and interaction bias can drive emergent behavioural specialization and modular social networks across systems. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 17: 20190564. doi:10.1098/rsif.2019.0564
- Ulrich Y, Saragosti J, Tokita CK, Tarnita CE, Kronauer DJC. (2018). Fitness benefits and emergent division of labor at the onset of group-living. Nature, 560 (7720), 635-638. doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0422-6
- Henry LP*, Tokita CK* , Misra M, Forrow AB, and Rubenstein DI. (2018). Mutualistic Acacia ants exhibit reduced aggression and more frequent off-tree movement near termite mounds. Biotropica, 50(4): 559-562. doi:10.1111/btp.12572 *Co-First Authors