Sexual size dimorphism and mate choice in the bark beetle Dactylotrypes longicollis & The evolution of ant venoms
Late Lunch Talk by Anders Isaksen
The first part of my presentation will be devoted to my master’s project from the University of Bergen, where I worked on the mating system in the monogamous bark beetle, Dactylotrypes longicollis. I conducted a series of mate choice experiments related to body size. I tested basic aspects of sexual size dimorphisms and patterns of assortative mating, in pairs from both natural populations and mate choice experiments.
Here at CEES, I will study the evolution of ant venoms. Despite the common misconception that ants have relatively simple, acid-based venoms, most have venoms dominated by peptide toxins. However, research on this topic has been limited due to low venom yields, which make further purification and characterization challenging. Recently, the Undheim group found that the venom of the Australian greenhead ant, Rhytidoponera metallica, contains hyperdiverse peptides and that the source of this diversity is in large part intra-colony variation. These findings are interesting, as venoms from ants in the same colony are thought to be relatively homogeneous due to low genetic diversity among workers. For my PhD project I will attempt to answer the question of why some ant species exhibit such venom profiles, and how these interact across levels of biological and ecological complexity.
This talk will also be available on Zoom. The zoom link will be shared through the CEES seminar mailing list. Contact Tore Wallem if you would like to be forwarded the invitation e-mail.