Katedra zoologie

Přírodovědecká fakulta Jihočeské univerzity

Úvodní stránka
York, UK: PhD, ant evolution PDF Tisk Email
PhD position: The evolution of the supercolony and the role of parasites
Investigating the evolution of cooperation is essential to explaining the
ecological dominance of many social species. The highly successful social
insects are often thought of as colonies residing in single
internally-cooperative nests. In reality, many ant species form nests that
connect cooperatively with neighbouring nests, becoming 'unicolonial'.
Explaining the evolution of unicolonial cooperation is challenging because
although conspecifics in these extended colonies are behaving
co-operatively, they also compete for resources. Resource competition means
that a unicolonial strategy should be vulnerable to cheats who recognise
closer kin and cooperate selectively, securing resources for their own near
relatives, at the expense of the whole colony. In the light of this
potential instability, how does unicoloniality arise and persist? One
possibility is that parasitism drives co-occurrence of multiple queens for
increased genetic diversity, allowing colonies to split between connected
nests. This studentship addresses the current lack of theoretical models of
the evolutionary of unicoloniality and the absence of empirical data on the
effects of parasitism on unicoloniality.
How to apply
This project will be co-supervised by Elva Robinson (Biology, University of
York) and James Marshall (Computer Science, University of Sheffield). The
project will start Oct 2015 and is competitively funded. UK/EU students
only. If you would like to apply, please send a CV and covering letter to:

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