Back row: John Lau, Jan Buellesbach, Neil Tsutsui, Maria Tonione, Jenna Florio, and Josh Gibson; Front row: Brian Whyte, Elizabeth Cash, Rebecca Sandidge, and Kelsey Scheckel
The research in our lab focuses on ants and bees —how they communicate, why they behave the ways that they do, as well as their ecology and evolution. Some of our central interests include the roles of genetics, chemistry, experience, and learning in the evolution of social behavior. We study how invasive species such as Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) form massive supercolonies that extend hundreds to thousands of kilometers and have strong ecological impacts around the world. By determining the adaptive traits that allow some species to become such successful invaders, we may also understand the success of many other invasive social insects.