Standing: Aman Gill, Amelia Harvey, Katie Sanko, Jenna Florio, Jan Buellesbach, Rebecca Sandidge, Brian Whyte, Maria Tonione, and Kelsey Scheckel; Kneeling: Nina Pak, Jessica Maccaro, Elizabeth Cash, Neil Tsutsui, Ashley Adams, and Josh Gibson
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.