Division of labour and disease dynamics in clonal ant societies

Microbiology Seminar Series

Group-living is a widespread strategy that comes with particular costs and benefits. Here, I will describe recent findings on the emergence and regulation of division of labour, a proposed benefit of group-living, in ant colonies. I will then explain how we plan to build on this work to study how social organisation can mitigate the risk of disease outbreak that is often associated with group-living. This work capitalises on a new, experimentally accessible system for the study of social behaviour, the clonal raider ant, and on custom tools for the automated tracking of individual behaviour and social interactions in groups.

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