International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI2018), August 5-10, 2018 in Guarujá, Brazil.

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Plenary speakers

Ben Oldroyd is Professor of Behavioural Genetics at the University of Sydney, Australia. He completed a BSc(Agr) in 1980 and a PhD at the University of Sydney in 1984. Bern Oldroyd’s  research focuses on the behavioral genetics of honey bees, the evolution of social behavior  and evolution more broadly. He is also heavily involved with the Australian beekeeping industry, including helping beekeepers breed better, healthier strains. Ben has made important contributions to understanding the genetic basis of worker sterility in honey bees, and his breeding techniques are now widespread in the Australian beekeeping industry. His book Asian Honey Bees: Biology, Conservation and Human Interactions (Harvard University Press) is the authoritative text on the subject.  Ben has authored nearly 200 scientific papers on bees and social insects.

Elizabeth Tibbetts is Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. She completed a BSc at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and received her Ph.D. in Neurobiology and Behavior from Cornell University. Elizabeth Tibbetts’ research explores how individual behavior influences social groups and populations, using a variety of techniques, including field observations, manipulative experiments, mathematical modeling, and phylogenetic comparisons. Her main focus is on how Polistes paper wasps signal their dominance hierarchy status to nestmates. This involves mutual individual recognition via facial marks and relates to the question as to how endocrine factors, especially juvenile hormone, shape such social interaction. Over the last 15 years, Elizabeth has authored nearly 50 scientific papers on this topic. 

Paulo Oliveira is Professor of Ecology at the State University of Campinas (Unicamp), Brazil. He completed a BSc in Ecology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) anda PhD in BIology at Unicamp. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard and the University of Würzburg. Paulo Oliveira’s research is on the natural history, ecology and behavior of tropical ants, with a focus on ant-plant-herbivore interactions. By frequently foraging on the plant surface, ants have a major effect on shaping the life of herbivores. Paulo has published over 100 scientific papers on these questions. He has also co-autored 11 book chapters and three books on the Ecology and Evolution of Ant-Plant Interactions.  

Walter Farina is Professor at the Department of Biodiversity and Experimental Biology of the University of Buenos Aires. There he also obtained a BSc and PhD  in Biological Sciences. As a postdoctoral fellow he spent two years at the University of Tübingen, Germany. Walter Farina’s research has its focus on communication systems and strategies used by bees, mainly Apis mellifera, and stingless bees to inform nestmates about the availability and  profitability of food sources in relation to colony needs.  In his research he uses both field/feeder experiments, as well as learning tests and physiology methods. Walter has published  nearly 100 scienific papers on these topics.

Jennifer Fewell is President’s Professor at Arizona State University, Tempe. She obtained her PhD at the University of Colorado, Bolder. Jennifer Fewell’s area of research is the behavioral ecology and evolution of social insects. Her work focuses on how intrinsic variation in task performance by individual workers affects colony patterns of division of labor. Additionally, she is examining the role of genotypic variation in colony task performance. Working with honey bees and Pogonomyrmex seed-harvester ants she examines flexibility in individual foraging decisions, as well as the role of foraging energetics and nutrient diversity in foraging strategy. Jennifer has published  nearly 100 scienific papers on these topics.

Toru Miura was Associate Professor at Hokkaido University, Sapporo, and recently nominated Professor at the Misaki Marine Biological Station is now with the University of Tokyo. He completed his undergraduate and graduate studies (PhD) at the University of Tokyo  Toru Miura’s research is on the developmental mechanisms of phenotype-specific characters underlying the polyphenism in ants, termites and aphids. He is working on these topics in terms of the alteration of body plan in response to environmental signals, and trying to understand the evolutionary process underlying the interaction between ontogeny and environment. Toru has poblished over 130 scientific papers on these topics.

Seirian Sumner is a Reader in Behavioural Ecology at University College London. She obtained a BSc in Zoology and a PhD at University College London, and then studied leaf-cutting ants as a postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Koos Boomsma’s lab in Copenhagen. In 2008, she received the L'Oreal for Women in Science Fellowship Award. Serian Sumner’s work focuses on understanding social behavior, from genes to phenotypes. She is particularly interested in exploring what molecular analyses can tell us about the early stages social evolution, and she uses tropical Polistes paper wasps as a main study system, besides working also on bumble bees and ants. Serian has published over 50 scientifc papers on threse topics.

Theresa Wossler is Associate Professor at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. She studied Zoology and Advanced Biology at the University of the Witwatersrand where she also completed her PhD. Subsequently she was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pretoria Theresa Wossler’s research focuses largely on chemical communication in social insects. Her main interests are in the field of honeybee chemical ecology/biology and she has addressed topical issues relating to reproductive regulation in social insects, social parasitism, nestmate recognition and invasion biology, including Argentine, as well as solitary wasps. Theresa has published nearly 50 scientific papers on these topics.

Andreas Brune is Research Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg, Germany. He studied Biology at the University of Marburg and obtained a PhD in Microbiology at the University of Tübingen. After two postdoctoral years at Michigan State University, he headed a research group at the University of Konstanz, His laboratory studies the gut microbiota of insects, with an emphasis on the bacterial symbionts of termite gut flagellates and the ecology and evolution of symbiotic digestion. Andreas published over 100 scientific papers on these topics.