Our research interests are the evolution and mechanisms underlying sociality and social behavior. We mostly study bees as a model. Although sociality is not a very common evolutionary strategy, social animals are exceptionally successful in both evolutionary and ecological terms. The social organization of bees is astonishing; up to thousands individuals coordinate their activities to achieve efficient division of labor, food gathering, nest construction, defense, and complex migratory ventures. Sociality is not only a puzzle of complex interactions, but also an ongoing evolutionary mystery, partly because most individuals in advanced societies do not reproduce, which is difficult to reconcile with Darwin's theory of individual selection. To study these fascinating and intricate phenomena we integrate methodologies and themes from diverse disciplines including sociobiology, behavioral biology, neuroendocrinology, neuroanatomy, molecular biology, and comparative genomics.
For more details on some of our ongoing research projects use the table of contents on the left side of this page.