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Deborah M. Gordon

Professor, Department of Biology, Stanford University

Deborah M. Gordon is a Professor in the Department of Biology at Stanford University. She studies how colonies work without central control using networks of simple interactions, and how these networks evolve in relation to changing environments. Her work extends to analogies with other biological systems and collaborations with engineers and computer scientists, such as the “Anternet,” comparing the regulation of foraging in desert harvester ants to the protocol used to regulate data traffic in the Internet. Her projects include a long-term study of a population of harvester ant colonies in Arizona, studies of the invasive Argentine ant in northern California, and ant-plant mutualisms in Central America. She received her PhD from Duke University, then joined the Harvard Society of Fellows, and did postdoctoral research at Oxford and the University of London. Awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Gores Teaching Award from Stanford. She is the author of two books, “Ant Encounters: Interaction Networks and Colony Behavior” and “Ants at Work” (Norton).