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Personal profile

Research interests

PhD project: Towards an eco-evo-devo theory for the evolution of eusociality - Integrating theory, field experiments and molecular genetics

The transition to eusociality has yielded complex animal societies with reproductive queen (and king) and mostly sterile worker castes. During my PhD project, I develop new analytical and individual-based simulation models to understand the evolutionary transition to eusociality. In these models, I aim at unifying recent approaches that explain the evolution of eusociality by inclusive fitness benefits or parental manipulation or invoke epigenetic inheritance to explain how eusociality can evolve from an ancestrally plastic phenotype in regard to the expression of helping behaviours. I experimentally test the theoretical model predictions on the allodapine bee Exoneura robusta, which exhibits intraspecific variation in social behaviour and therefore is appropriate to understand the emergence of helping behaviours.

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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