Behavior, Ecology, and Evolution of Social Insects

The only non-human animals known to live in large-scale complex societies are the eusocial insects such as bees, wasps, ants and termites. These insects are of tremendous economic importance, as bees produce honey and pollinate crops, while some ants, wasps and termites are major pests.

We study behavioral, ecological and evolutionary questions in insects along the social gradient from solitary to eusocial to better understand how animal societies work, and how they efficiently cooperate. We think that understanding social evolution and cooperation in animal societies is relevant from ecological, evolutionary and economic perspectives.