• Ochre sea stars (Pisaster ocrhaceus) feeding together in the rocky intertidal
    Ochre sea stars (Pisaster ocrhaceus) feeding together in the rocky intertidal
  • African social spiders (Stegodyphus dumicola) collectively subduing prey
    African social spiders (Stegodyphus dumicola) collectively subduing prey
  • Individually-painted social spiders (Stegodyphus dumicola) about to be added to an experimental colony
    Individually-painted social spiders (Stegodyphus dumicola) about to be added to an experimental colony

Welcome to the Pruitt Lab

The Pruitt Lab is interested in the interactions between individual traits and the collective attributes of animal societies and biological communities. We explore how the behaviors of individual group members contribute to collective phenotypes, and how these collective phenotypes in turn influence the persistence and stability of collective units (social groups, communities, etc.). Our most recent research explores the factors that lead to the collapse of biological systems, and which factors may promote systems' ability to bounce back from deleterious alternative persistent states.