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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

My main research interests concern social evolution in ants and focus on three main avenues: the proximate and ultimate causes intracolony conflicts and their resolution, population biology encompassing causes and consequences of inbreeding, and caste-specific life history trade-offs with respect to disease resistance and longevity.     

The work on conflict resolution uses several approaches, including behavioural experiments, the analysis of recognition cues encoded in cuticular chemistry, and genetic assessment of kinship. In particular we ask to what extent can workers enhance their inclusive fitness given the fact that colonies of the study species, Formica fusca, regularly contain multiple reproductive queens.  

The work on population biology and life history trade-offs entails several lines of questioning, all of which have their foundation in the long-term data set my group has collected on a population of Formica exsecta in the archipelago near the Tvärminne zoological station. From demographic and genotype data in conjunction with fitness-correlated traits we can estimate the life-time fitness of individual colonies, and selection on caste-specific trade-offs at the colony,  the individual, and the gene level.

Fields of Science

  • 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology

International and National Collaboration

Publications and projects within past five years.
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