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Personal profile


The Stephens Group is pioneering a new field – the physics of behavior: from individual organisms to entire societies. The science of the living world is overwhelmingly focused on the microscopic: the structure of DNA, the machinery of cells that can convert energy and transports materials, or the pattern of electrical activity in our brains from which thoughts arise. Yet, all of these processes serve the greater evolutionary goals of the organism: to find food, avoid predators and reproduce. This is the behavioral scale, and despite it’s importance, our quantitative understanding of behavior is much less advanced. But how do we quantify the emergent dynamics of entire organisms? What principles characterize living movement? Research in our group addresses these fundamental questions with a modern biophysics approach and model systems ranging from the nematode C. elegans to zebrafish and honeybee collectives. We combine theoretical ideas from statistical physics, information theory and dynamical systems and work in close collaboration with scientists from Amsterdam and around the world to develop and analyze novel, quantitative experiments of organisms in natural motion.

Ancillary activities

  • Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology | Okinawa, Japan | Collaborative research | 2012-04-01 - present

Ancillary activities are updated daily

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where G.J. Stephens is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 1 Similar Profiles
Caenorhabditis elegans Medicine & Life Sciences
Posture Medicine & Life Sciences
Odors Chemical Compounds
Animals Chemical Compounds
Stereotyped Behavior Medicine & Life Sciences
Drosophila Physics & Astronomy
Chemotaxis Medicine & Life Sciences
Exploratory Behavior Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2008 2019

  • 20 Article
  • 1 Conference contribution
  • 1 PhD Thesis - Research VU, graduation VU

Adaptive, locally linear models of complex dynamics

Costa, A. C., Ahamed, T. & Stephens, G. J., 29 Jan 2019, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 116, 5, p. 1501-1510 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
resolution cell

Capturing the Continuous Complexity of Behavior in C. elegans

Ahamed, T., Costa, A. C. & Stephens, G. J., 2019, In : bioRxiv. p. 827535

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademic


Modelling the ballistic-to-diffusive transition in nematode motility reveals variation in exploratory behaviour across species

Helms, S. J., Rozemuller, W. M., Costa, A. C., Avery, L., Stephens, G. J. & Shimizu, T. S., 30 Aug 2019, In : Journal of the Royal Society, Interface. 16, 157

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Exploratory Behavior
Caenorhabditis elegans

Towards Dense Object Tracking in a 2D Honeybee Hive

Bozek, K., Hebert, L., Mikheyev, A. S. & Stephens, G. J., 14 Dec 2018, Proceedings - 2018 IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, CVPR 2018. IEEE Computer Society, p. 4185-4193 9 p. 8578538. (IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition).

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

Neural networks
Video recording
Network architecture
Image analysis

Exploiting ecology in drug pulse sequences in favour of population reduction

Bauer, M., Graf, I. R., Ngampruetikorn, V., Stephens, G. J. & Frey, E., Sep 2017, In : PLoS Computational Biology. 13, 9

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access