Stefan Popp

Stefan Popp

Dornhaus Lab

Office Location: BSW 236
Lab Location: BSW 235 / BSW 614

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  • PhD with Anna Dornhaus at the University of Arizona (2017-present)
  • MSc with Flavio Roces at the University of Würzburg (2015-2017)
  • BSc with Flavio Roces & Tomer Czaczkes at the University of Würzburg (2011-2015)

Research Interests: 

I am broadly interested in the algorithms which determine the behavior of animals. In my current research I investigate the search behavior of rock ants. Workers need to efficiently find resources while minimizing risks and coordinating with their nestmates. I mostly film and track ants in a large arena in the lab. Specific projects focus on 1) a small-scale meandering behavior, 2) the influence of experience, 3) reaction to conspecifics' chemical footprints, 4) influences of surface structure on the path shape.


  • Popp, S., Buckham-Bonnett, P., Evison, S. E., Robinson, E. J. H., & Czaczkes, T. J. (2018). No evidence for tactile communication of direction in foraging Lasius ants. Insectes sociaux, 65(1), 37-46.
  • Joshi V, Popp S, Werfel J, McCreery HF (2022): “Alignment with neighbors enables escape from dead ends in flocking models”. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 19: 20220356
  • Popp S, Dornhaus A (2023): “Searching ants combine systematic meandering and correlated random walks at different spatial scales”