texanus

Carol and Jignasha have returned from a very successful collecting trip for colonies of Cephalotes texanus in Texas. The trip was greatly facilitated by Alex Wild's lab at UT Austin. Lots of new ants for us to work with in the lab!

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Jignasha

We are very pleased to welcome new PhD student Jignasha Rana! Jignasha has an interest in cryptic diversity and joins us from the Harvard MCZ, where she has been working as a curatorial assistant. 

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Summer News Catch-up

We've been a bit behind on the news lately, mostly because of lots of great things going on, but here are the bigger events in short order: Scott, Flávio, Aidan, and Carol ran the turtle ant mega-booth in the NSF section of the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, DC in April; Our new paper on turtle ant diversification landed in Evolution in late April; Aidan jetted off to BCI for army ant fieldwork in May; Scott, Shauna, Flávio and Carol hit the FL Keys in May to collect live colonies of Cephalotes varians; The lab attended the social insect SINNERS meeting at Penn State in June; Carol took off for the summer OTS course in Costa Rica in Mid June; Scott's latest paper on the ecology of soldier evolution in the turtle ants came out in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology in late June; Scott also went to the Evolution Meetings in Austin in late June; Flávio left for fieldwork in Brazil in June, and Scott caught up with him somewhere in the wilds of the cerrado for six weeks in July and August. Busy Summer!

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Flavio's arrival

We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Flávio Camarota as a new postdoc! Flávio and Scott have been working together throughout Flavio's graduate work on community assembly in arboreal ants in Brazil, and it's great to now have him in the lab as a postdoc.

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DR Trip

Scott, Shauna Price, and old friend David Lubertazzi are off to the Dominican Republic for a 10-day collecting trip. We are excited to finally get to see (and collect) colonies of the endemic turtle ant fauna of the island of Hispaniola. 

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Summer 2015 News

Busy summer for the lab. Here’s the summer news in brief: Aidan Manubay started his dissertation fieldwork on army ants in Panama, with a little initial help from Scott (it was so good to be back on BCI after 12 years away!); Scott and Postdoc Shauna Price attended Evolution 2015 in Guarujá, Brazil; Scott, Shauna, and incoming PhD student Carol Peretz headed to Uberlândia, Brazil for turtle ant sampling, with the help of local PhD student Flávio Camarota; Scott, Aidan, and Carol attended Ant Course in beautiful Portal Arizona.

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EFN paper

Our paper showing that "Extrafloral nectaries have a limited effect on the structure of arboreal ant communities" is now out in Ecology. An old hypothesis overturned by four independent tests that included two field experiments. 

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Social parasitism paper out

Our paper on the new form of social parasitism displayed by the recently described Cephalotes specularis is now out in The American Naturalist. This is the companion paper to our recent species description in Zootaxa. In this new paper, we focus on some of the amazing biology in this beautiful new ant. With experiments too.

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NSF DoB grant funded

We are delighted to officially announce that we have been awarded a Dimensions of Biodiversity grant from NSF! Using our beloved turtle ants and their symbiotic gut microbes, we will be "Identifying how the ecological and evolutionary interactions between host and symbiont shape holobiont biodiversity". This work is in collaboration with my excellent fellow PIs Corrie Moreau, Jake Russell, and John Wertz, and the incomparable postdocs Shauna Price and Jon Sanders.

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