Lab for Animal Behavioural Interaction Research In The Ocean
We study the intersections between behaviour and ecology, humans and non-humans
Behaviour is everything organisms do from the moment they are born until the moment they die. Ecology is all the resultant relationships among these organisms and with the environment. But everything that organisms do (including ourselves) has an impact on something else —we interact. We interact with the environment, with our peers, with other species. And these interactions have consequences.
At the LABIRINTO, we are interested in mapping the network that these behavioural and ecological interactions form to understand their nature and to measure their consequences for individual organisms, their populations, their communities, and the ecosystems around us all. We study the intersections between behaviour and ecology both theoretically and in the field, combining computer models with real-world data. We focus on the interactions between humans and marine animals, because of their learning ability, social complexity, and the exciting fieldwork challenges they impose.
'Labirinto' is Portuguese for 'labyrinth', or 'a confusing network of intercommunicating paths forming a complex system that causes bewilderment and perplexity'. Metaphorically, a 'labirinto' represents the web of complex relationships that Nature is, and the challenge that humans face of navigating it without disrupting it.