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Research


Fakultät für Biologie und Vorklinische Medizin
Institut für Zoologie
Lehrstuhl für Zoologie / Evolutionsbiologie
Dr. Abel Bernadou
Research Publications Contact

Research

How do ant colonies work? Which mechanisms underlie the (reproductive) division of labor in ants? How did such traits evolve? My research combines behavioural assays and molecular tools in order to understand the factors that underlie task allocation and specialization in ants.

 

Current projects

 

The fecundity/longevity trade-off in a clonal ant

Why do highly fertile individuals live longer than nestmates with low fecundity? In this project, I analyse the interplay between longevity and fecundity in Platythyrea punctata. This research is part of the research unit “Sociality and the reversal of the fecundity/longevity trade-off”.

Fig-1

Division of labour in Platythyrea ants

This project aims at understanding the proximate mechanisms that bring about division of labor in the clonal ant Platythyrea punctata. I investigate in particular the importance of early social experience and environmental conditions on the reproductive division of labour. To address these questions, we use behavioural experiments, physiological measurements and gene expression analysis (RNA-Seq).

Fig-2

(modified from Münch and Amdam, 2010)

Dispersal behaviour, nest site selection and decision making processes by ant queens

In ants, mating and colony founding are critical steps in the life of ant queens. Despite its importance, how young queens select their habitat to establish a colony, avoid predators or select a new nest remain ones of the least studied aspects of ant biology. My aim is to investigate dispersal behaviour and nest site selection by new queens and how they affect population genetic structure. I address these questions by coupling behavioural assays and physiological measurements with genetic population analysis.

Fig-3

Interested students are always welcome for practical work or to discuss their ideas for a bachelor or master thesis! I am always looking for motivated students interested in carrying out projects.


  1. Fakultäten
  2. Fakultät für Biologie und Vorklinische Medizin

Dr. Abel Bernadou

 

Abel Bernadou

 

Raum: D4.1.315
Tel.: 0941/943-3001
E-Mail