Michal Arbilly


Department of Quantitative Theory & Methods


Department of Biology

Office: 1131A Rollins

Phone: 404-727-0815

Email: michal.arbilly@emory.edu

Additional Contact Information

Mailing Address:

Emory University

1510 Clifton Road NE
O. Wayne Rollins Research Center

Atlanta, GA 30322

Additional Websites


  • Ph.D, Zoology, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel, 2011
  • MSc, Genetics, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, 2005
  • B.Sc., Life Sciences and Psychology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, 2003


Dr. Arbilly is a lecturer at Emory University’s Departments of Biology and Quantitative Theory and Methods. Her research interests are at the intersection of animal behavior, cognition, and evolution, and she is especially interested in how group-living shaped the evolution of learning and decision-making processes. She studies these questions using computer models – a powerful tool for looking into the complexities of cognitive processes, social dynamics, and the interaction between them.


Animal behavior, Cognition, and Evolution


Arbilly, M (2018) High-magnitude innovators as keystone individuals in the evolution of culture. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, Biological Sciences 373: 20170053.
Arbilly, M, Lotem A (2017) Constructive anthropomorphism: a functional evolutionary approach to the study of human-like cognitive abilities in animals. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Biological Sciences 284: 20171616.
Arbilly, M, Laland KN (2017) The magnitude of innovation and its evolution in social animals. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Biological Sciences 284: 20162385.
Burton-Chellew M, Kacelnik A, Arbilly, M, dos Santos M, Mathot KM, McNamara JM, Mengel F, van der Weele J, Vollan B (2017) The ecological and economic conditions of exploitation strategies. In: Investors and Exploiters in Ecology and Economics: Principles and Applications. Ed. by LA Giraldeau, P Heeb, M Kosfeld. Vol. 21. Strüngmann Forum Reports. Series editor J Lupp. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Arbilly, M (2015) Understanding the evolution of learning by explicitly modeling learning mechanisms. Current Zoology 61: 341–349.