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IUSSI North-west European section

International Union for the Study of Social Insects

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Who's Who?
Always under construction and hopelessly out of date! If you are a member of IUSSI North-west European section and wish to be included on this page, or to be updated, send brief details to DRNash (at) bio.ku.dk

Ordinary members Student members

Ordinary members

Dr. Michael E. Archer
lesley (at) mearcher.fsnet.co.uk
17 Elmfield Terrace,
York YO31 1EH,
England, U.K.
Tel: +44(0)1904 424773

Research Interest: Social wasps with particular reference to the Vespinae: Taxonomy, Behaviour especially foraging activities, population and colony dynamics, simulation modelling of colony growth and activity. Currently writing a book on my researches in the vespine wasps.

Dr. Matthias A. Becher
m.a.becher (at) exeter.ac.uk
University of Exeter
Environment and Sustainability Institute
Penryn Campus, Penryn
Cornwall TR10 9FE, U.K.
Tel: +44 (0)1326 259470
Fax: +44 (0)1326 371859

Research interests: Behavioural ecology of social bees; Colony organisation and foraging; Individual-based modelling, computer simulations (e.g. BEEHAVE honey bee model: http://beehave-model.net/)

Prof. David E. Bignell
work: d.bignell (at) qmul.ac.uk
home: d.bignell (at) ntlworld.com

School of Biological Sciences,
Queen Mary & Westfield College,
University of London,
Mile End Road,
London E1 4NS, U.K.
Tel: 020 7882 3008
Fax 020 8983 0973

Research Interests: Interested in all aspects of termite biology

Prof. Jacobus J. (Koos) Boomsma
JJBoomsma (at) bio.ku.dk
Centre for Social Evolution
Department of Biology,
University of Copenhagen
Universitetsparken 15
DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø,
Tel: +45 35321340
Fax: +45 35321250
web site

Research Interests: Social evolution, Evolutionary ecology of social insects, Kin selection, Mating systems of insects and vertebrates, Co-evolution of insects and fungi, Reproductive investment and diet optimization, Evolutionary aspects of genetic diversity and symbiosis, Evolutionary ecology of butterflies and moths, Population fragmentation and conservation biology, Arctic ecology

Prof. Andrew Bourke
A.Bourke (at) uea.ac.uk
School of Biological Sciences,
University of East Anglia,
Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591868
Fax: +44 (0)1603 592250

Research interests: My research concentrates on the evolution, ecology, behaviour and genetics of social insects. I am particularly interested in social evolution (e.g. kin-selected conflicts over reproduction, sex ratio evolution), the genetics of caste determination, and social insect conservation. Ants and (more recently) bumble bees are my favoured study organisms for empirical work.

Prof. Mark Brown
mark.brown (at) rhul.ac.uk
School of Biological Sciences
Royal Holloway, University of London
Egham, Surrey
TW20 0EX, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1784 276443
Web site

Research interests: Dynamics and virulence in social insect host-parasite systems, particularly with respect to the bumble bee Bombus terrestris and its parasites. Conservation biology of insects, particularly bees and specifically bumble bees. General biology of social insects

Norman Carreck
norman.carreck (at) btinternet.com

New Hall, Small Dole,
Henfield, West Sussex.
BN5 9YJ, U.K.
Tel: +44 (01273) 492206
Mobile: +44 (07918) 670169
web site

Interests: Most aspects of bees, especially management of farmland for bees and other beneficial insects, use of honey bees to disseminate biocontrol agents, and relationships between Apis mellifera, Varroa jacobsoni and viruses.

Prof. Lars Chittka
l.chittka (at) qmul.ac.uk
School of Biological & Chemical Sciences
Queen Mary College
University of London
Mile End Road
London E1 4NS, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7882 3043
Fax: +44 (0) 20 8983 0973
web site

Research interests: Sensory Ecology, Communication, Cognition, Behavioural Ecology of Bees, and Interaction with their Plants.

Dr. Margaret J. Couvillon
M.Couvillon (at) sussex.ac.uk
Laboratory of Apiculture & Social Insects
Department of Biology & Environmental Science
School of Life Sciences
John Maynard Smith Building
University of Sussex
Falmer, Brighton
personal email: maggiejanec (at) gmail.com
work phone: +44 (0) 1273 87 2777
mobile: +44 (0) 7791 315 955

Research Interests: Mechanisms of guarding and nestmate recognition in honey bees and stingless bees, division of labour and size polymorphism in bumble bees, and foraging ecology of honey bees

Dr. Sarah Donovan
sarah.donovan (at) plymouth.ac.uk
Faculty of Science, Biology Department
B405 Portland Square,
University of Plymouth
Plymouth, Devon PL4 8AA, UK
Tel +44 (0)1626 325 880
Fax +44 (0)1626 325 616
web site 1, web site 2

Research interests: My current research interests are primarily on rain forest termites, particularly the soil feeding species, which make up the majority of termites. I am looking at their influence on soil properties, their spatial ecology and their interaction with other soil fauna, especially earthworms.

Dr. Elizabeth Duncan
e.j.duncan (at) leeds.ac.uk
The Faculty of Biological Sciences,
University of Leeds,
Leeds LS2 9JT, U.K.
Tel: +44 (0)113 343 7716

Section treasurer

Dr. Mariane Elias
marianne.elias (at) helsinki.fi
Department of Biological and Environmental Science
University of Helsinki
P.O.Box 65, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
tel +358(0)9-191 57695
fax: +358(0)9-191 57694
Web site

Research interests: Social evolution in ants, evolutionary ecology of polydomous populations of ants

Dr Elizabeth J.M. Evesham
Teacher of Biology, Major in CCF
Elizabeth.Evesham (at) kingseducation.com
Mill Hill School,The Ridgeway,
Mill Hill, London NW7 1QS
Tel. 0208 959 6386

Research interests: The behaviour and Ecology of the ant Myrmica rubra.

Prof. Jeremy Field
j.field (at) sussex.ac.uk
Department of Biology and Environmental Science
School of Life Sciences
John Maynard Smith Building
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QG,
Tel: 01273 877135 (ext.7135)

y special interests are: evolution of eusociality; reproductive skew; primitively eusocial wasps; hover wasps (Stenogastrinae); Polistes; tropics.

Prof. Nigel Franks
Nigel.Franks (at) bristol.ac.uk
School of Biological Sciences
University of Bristol
Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 1UG
Tel 0117 954 5994
Fax 0117 925 7374

Research interests: I am interested in mathematical biology and the application of self-organization theory to social insects, particularly how simple rules of thumb employed by individual social insects at a purely local level can generate complex adaptive features at the level of the whole colony. Arising from this is my interest in the development of new computer algorithms based on organization of social insect colonies.

Current research: The spatial organization of ant colonies (e.g. brood sorting), their temporal organization (e.g. activity rhythms), self-assembly (e.g. social resilience), division of labour (physical and temporal castes) and individual and collective decision-making (e.g. house hunting and quorum-sensing).

Dr. Richard J. Gill
richard.gill (at) rhul.ac.uk
Post-Doctoral researcher
School of Biological Sciences
Royal Holloway, University of London
Surrey, TW20 0EX
Web site

Research: Social Evolution: I am interested in understanding the ultimate and proximate basis for variation in social organisation. Specifically, I have have focused on the polymorphic social organisation of the ant Leptothorax acervorum, and investigated the behavioural mechanisms regulating how reproduction is skewed between colony members. Behavioural ecology: Currently I have been investigating the detrimental effects of agricultural pesticide exposure on the behaviour and health of bees.

Dr. Nizar Haddad
drnizarh (at) yahoo.com
Coordinator, Bee Research Unit
P.O.Box 620082, 21162 Irbid ñ Jordan
Tel: +962 77 327437
Web site

I am the coordinator of the Bee Research Unit at the National Center for Agricultural Research and Technology Transfer, Amman Jordan. I am doing research in the area of Apiculture and beekeeping management, honey bee diseases, honey bee plants, queen rearing and conservation of Apis mellifera syriaca. I am also doing research on the Red Wasp. I am looking for collaborations in any of these areas or in other subject related to them.

Dr. Rob Hammond
Rh225 (at) le.ac.uk
Dept Biology, University of Leicester
University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK
Tel: +44 (0)116 252 5302
Web site

Research interests: he evolution of sociality; kin selection; reproductive conflicts; mating systems; the genetic basis of social behaviour; the genetic basis of caste determination.

Heikki Helanterä
heikki.helantera (at) helsinki.fi
University of Helsinki
Department of Ecology and Systematics
P.O.Box 17, FIN-00014 Helsinki.fi
Phone: +358-(0)9-191 28777
Mobile: +358-(0)40 75 07 334
Fax: +358-(0)9-191 28701
Web site

Section secretary

Research interests: Social evolution in ants, behavioral and population level studies of worker reproduction and worker policing in Formica, especially F. fusca

Dr. Pepijn W Kooij
p.kooij (at) kew.org
Comparative Fungal Biology,
Jodrell Laboratory
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 8332 3704


Research interests: mutualisms; fungus-growing insects and in particular fungus-growing ants; genomics; phylogenetics and phylogenomics; behavioural ecology; evolutionary ecology

Yael Lubin  
lubin (at) bgumail.bgu.ac.il
Institute for Desert Research,
Ben Gurion University,
Sede Boker Campus 84990, Israel
tel: 972-7-659-6782 fax: 972-7-659-6772
Web site

I am working on social spiders. Projects: ecology and behaviour of Stegodyphus dumicola and S. mimosarum, two social eresid spiders found in southern Africa, and of Stegodyphus lineatus, a related sub-social species found in  the Negev desert of Israel. I am interested in the evolution of socility, namely the ecological conditions and genetic constraints that have promoted or allowed cooperative breeding in this group of spiders.

Dr. Stephen Martin
S.J.Martin (at) sheffield.ac.uk
Laboratory of Apiculture & Social Insects,
Department of Animal and Plant Sciences,
Sheffield University,
Western Bank,Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
tel: 0114 222 0137
fax: 0114 222 0002

I have worked of the population dynamics and thermoregulation of social hornets (Vespa) in the Far East for many years. I spent 4 years studying the population dynamics of the honeybee ecto-parasitic mite Varroa jacobsoni. Currently I am investigating how the mites and the bee viruses they activate and vector, lead to the collapse of the honeybee colony.

Dr. David Nash
DRNash (at) bio.ku.dk
Centre for Social Evolution
Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen
Universitetsparken 15
DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark
Tel: +45 35321323
Fax: +45 35321250
Web site 1, Web site 2

IUSSI Webmaster (North-West European and International sections)
My research interest is primarily in the symbionts of social insects, both mutualists and parasites. I am particularly interested in interactions between ants and butterflies in the family Lycaenidae. My current research focuses on the parasitic interaction between butterflies of the genus Maculinea and Myrmica ants.

David Nicholson
davidn (at) cogs.susx.ac.uk
School of Biological Sciences CRPC,
The University of Sussex,
Falmer, Brighton.BN1 2EX
Tel: 01273 678754
Fax:    01273 678535
Web site

My research interests are insect navigation, view based, magnetic etc. Autonomous behaving systems/robots.

Dr. Mogens Gissel Nielsen 
Assoc. Prof.
mogens.gissel.nielsen (at) biology.au.dk 
Department of Zoology,
Institute of Biological Sciences,
University of Aarhus,
Universitetsparken B135,
DK- 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Tel. +45 89422723
Fax +45 8612 5175.
Web site

Research interest:
Ecology of Lasius flavus and L. alienus in Denmark. Production ecology and energetic in ants. Biology and adaptation to flooding in mangrove ants in Northern Australia 

Dr. Robert. J. Paxton
r.paxton (at) qub.ac.uk
School of Biological Sciences,
Queen's University Belfast,
Medical Biology Centre,
97 Lisburn Road,
Belfast BT9 7BL, UK
Tel: +44 28 90972127
fax: +44 28 90975877

Special interests: evolution of sociality in bees host-parasite interactions. Current research: kinship structure of social bees (Halictidae, Meliponinae) using microsatellite DNA markers

Dr. Jes Søe Pedersen
JSPedersen (at) bio.ku.dk
Centre for Social Evolution
Department of Biology
University of Copenhagen
Universitetsparken 15,
DK-2100 Copenhagen,
Tel.: +45-35321239
Fax: +45-35321250
Web site

Research interests: The evolution of multiple queen colonies and multiple mating by queens in social insects. In particular, how polygynous and polyandrous systems can be studied by genetical methods. Current work concentrates on the ecological and genetical mechanisms that allows the development of extreme sociality in so-called unicolonial ant species.

Dr. Nigel Raine
n.e.raine (at) qmul.ac.uk
School of Biological Sciences,
Queen Mary University of London,
327 Mile End Road,
London, E1 4NS, UK.
Tel: 020 7882 3293
Web site

Research Interests: I am currently investigating the learning capabilities of bumblebees to understand how (and indeed if) such cognitive traits are adapted to their ecological requirements, especially those related to foraging. I retain a general interest in pollination ecology, and have worked on the potential role of shared pollinators in structuring flowering plant communities (the main subject of my PhD thesis). I am also interested in the evolutionary ecology of ant-plant mutualisms, particularly the resolution of ant-pollinator conflicts, and parasitism of mutualisms. During my first postdoc, I also worked on how reproductive conflicts within social insect colonies are resolved.

Prof. Francis L. W. Ratnieks
F.Ratnieks (at) sheffield.ac.uk
Laboratory of Apiculture & Social Insects,
University of Sussex
Sussex House, Falmer
Brighton, BN1 9RH
United Kingdom
Web site
publications & PDFs to download

Research Interests: LASI (Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects) research investigates three main areas in social insect biology and social evolution: 1 Reproduction and conflicts within insect societies including processes that reduce conflict (worker policing; sex allocation; queen mating systems; kin recognition; inclusive fitness and game theory modelling); 2) Work organization in insect societies and the organization of complex systems task partitioning; communication; foraging organization; mathematical and computer modelling of complex systems). 3) Apiculture, honey bee diseases, breeding, and conservation of native bees (diseases and resistance; queen mating and rearing; stock improvement; colony management). The research often combines mathematical modelling with empirical testing, and we are also interested in the synthesis of ideas about social evolution.. Field studies by myself and other LASI researchers from 1999-2002 have been carried out in many places including Thailand, Australia, Mexico, Panama, Brazil, South Africa, UK. The main study organisms are Apis mellifera (honey bee), Melipona and other Meliponinae (stingless bees), Dinoponera (dinosaur ants), Atta (leafcutter ants), Monomorium pharaonis (Pharaoh's ants), Formica (wood ants), Vespinae wasps (Vespa, Dolichovespula, Vespula). Some current research projects include: caste fate conflict in stingless bees; worker policing in honey bees; conflict in queenless ponerine ants; foraging organization in Pharaoh's ants and wood ants; conservation and improvement of native British honey bees.

Dr Elva J. H. Robinson
Elva.Robinson (at) yccsa.org
York Centre for Complex Systems Analysis,
University of York,
York, YO10 5DD

Research Interests: Interested in organisation in social insects, especially self-organisation of foraging by use of pheromone trails in ants, and the organisation of division of labour. My work integrates empirical experiments and agent based models.

Dr. Karsten Schönrogge
ksc (at) ceh.ac.uk
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
CEH Wallingford,
Maclean Building,
Benson Lane,
Crowmarsh Gifford,
Wallingford, Oxfordshire, OX10 8BB
Phone: +44 (0)1491 692410
Mobile: +44 (0)740 2033657
Web site

Interests: (social insects) Myrmecophile insects, social parasitism and communication, population structures and reproductive strategies (polygynous vs. monogynous). (non-social insects) Multitrophic relationships and the dynamics of parasitoid communities, community structuring processes.

Current research: Chemical ecology of a myrmecophile hoverfly and its population effects, co-adaptation on species/sub-species levels. The chemistry and evolution of myrmecophily in Maculinea butterflies.

Dr. Ana B. Sendova-Franks  
Ana.Sendova-Franks (at) uwe.ac.uk
Faculty of Computer Studies and Mathematics
University of the West of England
Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane
Bristol BS16 1QY, U.K.
tel: (0117) 344 3161    fax: (0117) 976 3860
Web site
Lecturer in Statistics. My research interests are: the social physiology of ant colonies, mathematical and statistical modelling of social organisation and the application of ant algorithms to information technology and minimalistic robotics.

Jouni Sorvari
jouni.sorvari (at) uef.fi
Department of Environmental Science
University of Eastern Finland
P.O. Box 1627, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland
Phone: +358-(0)40-3553190
Web site

Research interests: The general topic of my research is ecology, applied and environmental ecology, and evolutionary ecology in social insects, mainly ants, bumblebees and social wasps.

Dr. Seirian Sumner
Seirian.Sumner (at) Bristol.ac.uk
School of Biological Sciences
University of Bristol, Woodland Road
Bristol, BS8 1UG, U.K.
Tel: +44 (0)117 33 17 898
Twitter: @WaspWoman

Research interests
: Evolution of sociality, caste determination, gene expression patterns underlying sociality, reproductive conflicts, reproductive strategies and mating systems.

Prof. Lotta Sundström  
liselotte.sundstrom (at) helsinki.fi
University of Helsinki,
Department of Ecology and Systematics,
P.O.Box 17, FIN-00014 Helsinki.fi
Phone: +358-(0)9-191 28615
Fax: +358-(0)9-191 28701
Web site

Academy Researcher, lecturer
Research interests: Social evolution in ants, especially ultimate factors and proximate mechanisms underlying cooperation and conflicts. The main study organisms are Formica ants, but new projects have started on Lasius flavus.

Dr. Yannick Wurm
y.wurm (at) qmul.ac.uk
Organismal Biology
School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
Queen Mary University London
Mile End Road
E1 4NS London
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 207 882 3049
Web site

General Research area: Interplay between social evolution & genome evolution.

Student members:

Richard J. Gill
r.j.gill (at) 2006.hull.ac.uk
Ph.D. Research Student
Evolutionary Biology Group
Dept. of Biological Sciences
University of Hull
Mobile: +44 7742358264

Current Research: Social Evolution: Investigating the proximate mechanisms regulating social structure in colonies of Leptothorax acervorum. More specifically, looking at behavioural interactions (e.g. aggression), and the genetics underlying variation in reproductive skew.

Minttu Hannonen
mhannone (at) mappi.helsinki.fi
Department of Ecology and Systematics
Division of Population Biology
University of Helsinki
P.O.Box 17, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
Phone: +358- (0)9- 191 28777
Fax:     +358- (0)9- 191 28701
Mobile: +358- (0)40- 765 6626
Web site

Current research interests: Evolution of multiple queening in ants, especially ultimate factors and proximate mechanisms affecting variation in reproductive sharing among cobreeding queens. As a study system I use multiple queening Formica fusca colonies.

Jacob G. Holland
Jacob.Holland (at) uea.ac.uk
PhD student
Organisms and Environment Theme
School of Biological Sciences
University of East Anglia
Norwich, UK

Current Research: I am currently investigating, under the supervision of Andrew Bourke, factors affecting the control of life history timing in the bumble bee Bombus terrestris. Specifically I am focusing on the proximate causation of the switch point, the specific timing event associated with the onset of male production.

Martin H. Kärcher
martin_kaercher (at) yahoo.de
Laboratory of Apiculture & Social Insects
Department of Biology & Environmental Science
School of Life Sciences
John Maynard Smith Building
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QG, UK
+43 316 382448 (landline, Austria),
+43 650 3824481 (mobile, Austria),
+44 127 387 7198 (landline, England).
Web site

Research interests:

I am a PhD student of Prof. Ratnieks at the University of Sussex. Currently, I study conflicts and conflict resolution in societies of honey bees and stingless bees. More specifically, I study intracolonial conflicts such as conflict over male production (e.g. worker policing) or female caste fate. I also study the role of nestmate recognition in the context of intercolonial conflicts. (Further interests include predator-prey interactions, traffic organisation and beekeeping.)

Martina Ozan
martina.ozan (at) helsinki.fi
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
University of Helsinki
P.O.Box 65 (Viikinkaari, 1)
FIN-00014 Helsinki, Finland

Research interests:

My PhD research focuses on reproductive partitioning in black ant, Formica fusca. I am mainly looking at queen traits that may determine queen reproductive share in polygynous colony such as fecundity and egg viability as well as presence and status signalling by queens and the utilization of this information by workers.

who's who

This site is maintained and promoted on the Internet by David Nash email to: DRNash (at) bio.ku.dk
Last modified Tuesday, February 20, 2018