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Scientific Reports

Large-scale transcriptome changes in the process of long-term visual memory formation in the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris

Current Biology

Learning Biases Underlie “Universals” in Avian Vocal Sequencing

Proc B

A possible structural correlate of learning performance on a colour discrimination task in the brain of the bumblebee

Current Biology

Place Cells: Knowing Where You Are Depends on Knowing Where You’re Heading

Proc B

Pay-off-biased social learning underlies the diffusion of novel extractive foraging traditions in a wild primate

Proc B

Transcriptomics of an extended phenotype: parasite manipulation of wasp social behaviour shifts expression of caste-related genes

BMC Genomics

Unity in defence: honeybee workers exhibit conserved molecular responses to diverse pathogens

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I am an evolutionary ecologist interested in the mechanisms regulating complex behaviours and phenotypic plasticity in social insects. I adopt a multidisciplinary approach, including functional genomics, behavioural assays and molecular tools. I have used a diverse set of study models to address my questions, including fire ants (Solenopsis invicta), paper wasps (Polistes dominula), bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) and honeybees (Apis mellifera).

From January 2020 I will setup my new independent research group at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. If you are interested in joining the group, please follow the link to the Lab of Functional Genomics & Sociobiology - a new website will be available soon. 

 

EMPLOYMENT AND RESEARCH POSITIONS

 

From January 2020

Lecturer in Functional Genomics, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen (Scotland)

2016-present  

Postdoctoral Research Associate, School of Biological Sciences - Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, Royal Holloway, University of London. European Research Council project: “Honeybee communication: animal social learning at the height of social complexity”. Project Coordinator: Elli Leadbeater. 

2016-2018      

Visiting Lecturer, Royal Holloway University of London

2014-2016      

Marie Curie Fellow (International Incoming Fellowship), School of Biological Sciences - Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, Royal Holloway, University of London. Project EVOCOOP: “Multi-level analysis of the evolution of cooperative behaviour in social insects”. Project Coordinator: Mark J. F. Brown. 

 

2013-2014      

Leverhulme Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Biological Sciences - Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, Royal Holloway, University of London. Project: “Are bumblebees the Extended Phenotype of nematodes? A transcriptomics approach”. Project Coordinators: Mark J. F. Brown and Seirian Sumner.

2013 (March-July)             

Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Entomology and Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics (CIDD), Penn State University. Project: “Disruption of reproductive fitness in the fire ant Solenopsis invicta through a RNAi approach”. Project Coordinator: David P. Hughes.

2010-2013      

Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Entomology, Penn State University. Project: “Functional Genomics of the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta.” Project Coordinators: Christina M. Grozinger and DeWayne D. Shoemaker.

2009                

Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Evolutionary Biology, University of Siena. Project: “Immunocompetence in paper wasps after parasitization by the Strepsipteran Xenos vesparum”. Advisor: Laura Beani.

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