Manon Corbin



email : manon.corbin(at)

twitter: @manOn067

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PhD student

Thesis title: Decision-making for collective behaviours in domestic horse

Supervisor: Odile Petit


2000 – today Biology and geology teacher, Strasbourg

2012 – today Scientific mediation, Jardin des Sciences, University of Strasbourg

2015 – 2019 PhD student, CNRS, Strasbourg

Current research on Collective behaviours

My research project consists in studying decision-making for collective behaviours in domestic horse (Equus ferus caballus).

Like all gregarious species, horses have to synchronize theirs activities and movements, to satisfy both individual needs and group cohesion.

We already know that, in horses, the vast majority of initiated movements are followed by the whole group, but not always at the same pace: individuals take more or less time to join the movement. This joining speed might reflect the degree of consensus between group members.

My thesis aims to explain variations in success of collective movements in domestic horses, by behavioural observations and mathematical modelling.

I will take into account habits of the group, temperament of individuals, as well as physiological and environmental constraints.

I will focus on the period before the departure, to determine how the collective movement is prepared, i.e. how individuals agree on the time of the departure and its orientation. In the pre-departure period, I will try to assess the weight of the role of the initiator, the first individual to move.

Can we call this initiator a « leader », i.e. which actively recruit individuals to achieve its goal ? Is it an opportunist that takes advantage of the readiness of the group for initiating the movement in the direction of its own choice ? Is it pushed by the other individuals when the group is ready to go ?

To answer these questions, I am currently analyzing data obtained in different groups of horses.

Presentations / Communications

M.Corbin. Decision-making for moving collectively in domestic horse. BEEPSS presentation (Behaviour, Evolution, Ecology and Physiology Seminar Strasbourg) – IPHC, CNRS, Strasbourg, France. 4th March 2016

M.Corbin. La contribution des mécanismes individualisés et auto-organisés au processus décisionnel lors des déplacements collectifs chez le cheval domestique. Presentation in 180 seconds, 2nd prize, Journée des doctorants de la filière équine IFCE, INRA, Paris, France. 18th March 2016

Petit, M. Valenchon, M.Corbin. Film and conference for students: the origins of democracy. « Science on tourne ! », La Nef des Sciences, CNRS, Strasbourg. December 2016.

M.Corbin. Tell me what kind of collective behaviour you initiate, I will tell you who you are. Talk. 4th European Student conference on Behaviour & Cognition, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, Czech Republic. 8th September 2017.

photo chevaux dannes