I am interested in understanding the mechanisms regulating reproduction and behavior in insect societies. During my PhD at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, I studied how genes and physiology affect the caste fate of the female offspring (fertile queen or sterile worker) and regulate the behavior of workers in ant colonies. As a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow at the Rockefeller and Lausanne universities, I have investigated whether epigenetic modifications regulate reproduction and behavior in the parthenogenetic ant Cerapachys biroi. Now an assistant professor / group leader at the University of Mainz (Germany), I use different approaches to study the genetic, genomic, epigenetic, behavioral and physiological mechanisms involved in the alternative production of queens and workers, the division of labor among workers, and more generally the regulation of reproduction, nutrition and behavior in several species of ants.
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