Richard Bon

Richard Bon

05 61 55 69 13



I am primarily interested in the study of collective animal behavior. In particular I am looking for the mechanisms that are implied in the production of individual decision, social interactions from which emerge more complex properties at the level of the groups. My research focuses on the collective movements using sheep as a model study. We quantify the decision of sheep either in undisturbed conditions but also when the movement of individuals are experimentally manipulated. The acquisition of precise data on location and behavior allow addressing the question of information transfer. I also work on how social buffering effect may depend upon the number of conspecifics present in sheep and mice. We study the response of stress, behavioural output and emotion when animals face an acute environmental stressor. One main challenge is to link between individual responses and the collective output (social cohesion, collective behavioural states, activity transition). I still collaborate in the study of sexual segregation.

Selected publications (collective behaviour)

•Azaïs M, Blanco S, Bon R, Fournier R, Pillot MH & Gautrais J 2018. Traveling pulse emerges from individuals coordinating their stop-and-go motion: a case study in sheep. PLoS ONE 13(12): e0206817.

•Ginelli F, Peruani F, Pillot MH, Chaté H, Théraulaz G & Bon R 2015. Intermittent collective dynamics emerge from conflicting imperatives in sheep herds. Proceedings of the National Academy of the United States of America 112: 12729–12734. http://dx.doi: 10.1073/pnas.1503749112

•Toulet S, Gautrais J, Bon R & Peruani F 2015. Imitation Combined with a Characteristic Stimulus Duration Results in Robust Collective Decision-Making. PLoS ONE 10: e0140188. http://dx.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0140188

•Michelena P, Pillot M-H, Henrion C, Toulet S, Boissy A & Bon R. 2012. Group size elicits specific physiological response in herbivores. Biol. Lett. 8, 537–539. http://dx.doi:10.1098/rsbl.2012.0197

•Pillot MH, Gautrais J, Arrufat P, Couzin ID, Bon R & Deneubourg JL. 2011. Scalable rules for coherent group motion in a gregarious vertebrate. PLoS ONE 6(1): e14487.

•Petit O & Bon R. 2010. Decision-making processes: The case of collective movements. Behavioural Processes 84: 635-647. . Guest Editors of the special section «Collective movements: Decision-making processes within groups».

•Pillot MH, Gautrais J, Gouello J, Michelena P, Sibbald A & Bon R. 2010. Moving together: Incidental leaders and naïve followers. Behavioural Processes 83: 235-241.

•Michelena P, Gautrais J, Gerard J-F, Bon R & Deneubourg J-L. 2008. Social cohesion in groups of sheep: Effect of activity level, sex composition and group size. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 112: 81-93.

•Gautrais J, Michelena P, Sibbald A, Bon R & Deneubourg J-L. 2007. Allelomimetic synchronisation in Merino Sheep. Animal Behaviour, 74:1443-1454.


Université Paul Sabatier
118 Route de Narbonne

31062 TOULOUSE Cedex

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