Tuesday, February 14, 2012

7:30 PM

Of Martian ants and their asexual sisters

MCZ 101, 26 Oxford Street, Harvard University


Christian Rabeling

Dr. Christian Rabeling, Harvard University Junior Fellow

Since the Mesozoic, ants evolved to become the most diverse, abundant and ecologically dominant group of social insects on earth.  Recent advances in molecular and computational biology allowed for reconstructing the phylogenetic history of this fascinating group of organisms and for understanding their evolutionary biology.  In this presentation, I will describe how the discovery of a single new species from the Amazon rainforest changed our understanding of ant evolution and what an asexually reproducing fungus-growing ant can teach us about the universality of sexual reproduction.

The talk is free and open to the public. The meeting is readily accessible via public transportation. Parking is available in the Oxford Street Garage with advance arrangement, as described here, or (usually but not always) at spaces on nearby streets. Everyone is also welcome to join us for dinner before the talk (beginning at 6:15 PM) at the Harvard Law School cafeteria, on the second floor of the Caspersen Student Center.

CEC meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month from October through May. The evening schedule typically includes an informal dinner (6:15 to 7:15 PM) followed by our formal meeting (7:30 – 9:00 PM). The latter begins with club business and is followed by a 50 minute entomology related presentation. Membership is open to amateur and professional entomologists.