Understanding the key features of social insects
Our lab is interested in how sociality evolves and how it is maintained with relation to reproductive division of labor. We study behavioral and chemical mechanisms used to regulate reproduction in nestmates. We experiment with a diverse set of social insects - ants from different subfamilies and termites. Thus, our insect systems vary in social complexity and structure, which should help in extracting common features of sociality, and this, in turn, may shed light on the evolution of sociality.
Recently we extended our research to include genetic and epigenetic approaches to reproductive division of labor, aging, and caste development.