Chris Tokita

Tarnita lab
Email Address:
Office Location: 
107A Guyot Hall

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:

  1. The self-organization of division of labor and social networks structure in social insect colonies.
  2. How politically polarized social networks can emerge from organic information cascades (driven by news coverage).
  3. 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.

Publications List: 
  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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