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For my postdoctoral work, I will be joining the lab of Dr. Shelley Berger at the University of Pennsylvania in June, 2019, to study how epigenetic modifications in ant species dictate caste based behavior.

Ants, as eusocial insects, exhibit some of the most fascinating and complex programs of social behavior in animals, wherein physiologically-distinct individuals use cooperative behaviors such as nursing, foraging, nest maintenance, defense and policing to sustain colony homeostasis. This division of labor is a central feature of advanced forms of sociality and often involves the allocation of behaviors among phenotypically distinct groups of individuals (termed castes) that vary by morphology, age and social context. I am excited to utilize Camponotus floridanus and Harpegnathos saltator as model systems to ask these questions. 

Posing with my new model organism!

Posing with my new model organism!

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Field collecting in the Florida Keys for  Camponotus floridanus.

Field collecting in the Florida Keys for Camponotus floridanus.

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