2 PhD positions to study (1) the Molecular manipulation of host phenotype via regulatory interference and (2) Epigenetic Regulation of Division of Labor in Ants

Cold Spring Harbor Meetings and Courses

Biology & Genomics of Social Insects

Long Island, New York - March 25 - 28, 2024


Abstract Deadline: January 26, 2024


Susanne Foitzik, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany 
Karen Kapheim, 
Utah State University
Olav Rueppell, University of Alberta, Canada

More info here


"The diversification of Juergen Heinze" Symposium

Regensburg - 15.03.2024

Zoom link: here


PhD position on the evolution and organization of non-canonical olfactory systems in ants


Postdoctoral researcher / Junior Group Leader (m/f/d) - Evolution, Epigenetics and Genomics and/or Behavioural Ecology of Social Insects


MSc/BSc Project – Desiccation resistance in tropical ants

==== CLOSED POSITIONS ==== Deadline October 3rd, 2023

Doctoral Researcher Position (PhD): Behavioral, neurobiological, and transcriptomic consequences of genomic changes during the evolution of ant social parasitism

Postdoctoral Researcher Position at the iomE Mainz, Germany: Evolution and Epigenetic Regulation of spatial learning in ants

SAVE THE DATE! Online lecture on Global Insect Decline: Trends, causes and consequences. Thursday, August 10, 2023, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. with Prof. Dr. Martin Gossner, Prof. Dr. Nadja Simons and Priv.-Doz. Dr. Florian Menzel. Link here -> Less overall, but more of the same: drivers of insect population trends lead to community homogenization (cassyni.com)

New study published in Molecular Ecology by Stoldt, M., Collin, E., Macit, M.N., Foitzik, S. "Brain and antennal transcriptomes of host ants reveal potential links between behaviour and the functioning of socially parasitic colonies.

New study published in Biology Letters by Kohlmeier, P., Feldmeyer, B., Foitzik, S.: "Histone acetyltransferases and external demands influence task switching in Temnothorax ants."

New study published in Molecular ecology by Sistermans T., Hartke J., Stoldt M., Libbrecht R., Foitzik S.: "The influence of parasite load on transcriptional activity and morphology of a cestode and its ant intermediate host."


Postdoctoral researcher to study the molecular regulation of learning and forgetting in ants

New preprint in BioRxiv by Seistrup A.S,, Choppin M., Govind S., Feldmeyer B., Kever M., Karaulanov E., Séguret A., Karunanithi S., Ketting R.F., Foitzik S.: "Age- and caste-independent piRNAs in the germline and miRNA profiles linked to caste and fecundity in the ant Temnothorax rugatulus."

New study accepted in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution by Choppin, M., Schall, M., Feldmeyer, B., Foitzik, S.: "Protein-rich diet decreases survival, but does not alter reproduction, in fertile ant workers."

New preprint in BioRxiv by Caminer, M.A.,Libbrecht, Majoe, M., Ho, D. V., Foitzik, S.: "Task-specific patterns of odorant receptor expression in worker antennae indicates a sensory filter regulating division of labor in ants."

New study accepted in Genes by Mier P., Fontaine JF., Stoldt M., Libbrecht L., Martelli C., Foitzik S., Andrade-Navarro MA.: "Annotation and analysis of 3,902 odorant receptor protein sequences from 21 insect species provide insights into the evolution of odorant receptor gene families in solitary and social insects."

New study accepted in Current Opinion in Insect Science by Stoldt, M., Macit, M.N., Collin, E., Foitzik, S: "Molecular (co)evolution of hymenopteran social parasites and their hosts"

New study accepted in the Journal of Experimental Biology by Joel, A., Schmitt. D., Baumgart, L.,  Menzel, F: "Insect cuticular hydrocarbon composition influences their interaction with spider capture thread"

17.05.2021 New study accepted in Chemoecology by Bucher R, Japke LM, Ünlü AG, Menzel F: "Interactions of ants with native and invasive ladybeetles and the role of chemical cues in intraguild interference"
25.04.2021 New study accepted in Royal Society Open Science by Beros, S., Lenhart, A., Scharf, I., Negroni, M.N., Menzel, F., Foitzik, S.: "Extreme lifespan extension in tapeworm-infected ant workers"
25.03.2021 New study accepted in Molecular Ecology by Scharf, I., Stoldt, M., Libbrecht, R., Höpfner, A.L., Jongepier, E., Kever, M., Foitzik, S.: "Social isolation causes downregulation of immune and stress response genes and behavioural changes in a social insect"
24.03.2021 Check out the article in Myrmecological News Blog by Florian Menzel, where he talks about his research on cuticular hydrocarbons.
15.03.2021 New study accepted in Molecular Ecology by Kennedy, A., Peng, T., Glaser S.M., Linn, M., Foitzik, S., Grüter, C: "Use of waggle dance information in honey bees is linked to gene expression in the antennae, but not in the brain"
03.03.2021 New study accepted in G3 by Sprenger PP, Hartke J, Schmitt T, Menzel F*, Feldmeyer B’: "Candidate genes involved in cuticular hydrocarbon differentiation between cryptic, parabiotic ant species" (*authors contributed equally)
21.02.2021 New study accepted in Journal of Experimental Biology by Negroni, M.A., Stoldt, M., Oster, M., Rupp, A-S., Feldmeyer, B. Foitzik, S.: "Social organisation and the evolution of life-history traits in two queen morphs of the ant Temnothorax rugatulus."

Check out the interview of Marina Choppin about her research and her recent paper:

Interview: https://blog.myrmecologicalnews.org/2021/02/10/queen-morph-and-reproductive-strategies-in-arizonian-ants/
Artikel: https://myrmecologicalnews.org/cms/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=1579&Itemid=439

06.02.2021 New study accepted in Current Zoology by Sprenger PP*, Gerbes L*, Sahm J, Menzel F: "Cuticular hydrocarbon profiles differ between body parts: implications for communication and our understanding of CHC diffusion" (*authors contributed equally)
26.01.2021 New study accepted in Diversity by Houadria M, Menzel F: "Digging deeper into the ecology of subterranean ants: diversity and niche partitioning"
January 2021 New study accepted in Genes by Stoldt, M., Klein, L., Beros S., Butter, F., Jongepier, E., Feldmeyer B., Foitzik, S.: “Parasite presence induces gene expression changes in an ant host and their function in immunity and longevity”
22.01.2021 New study accepted in Current Opinion in Insect Science by Menzel F, Feldmeyer B: "How does climate change affect social insects?"
January 2021 New study accepted in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B by Korb, J., Meusemann, K., Aumer, D., Bernadou, A., Elsner, D., Feldmeyer, B., Foitzik, S., Heinze, J., Libbrecht, R., Lin, S., Majoe, M., Kuhn M.M., Nehring, V., Negroni, M., Paxton, R.J., Séguret, A.C., Stoldt, M., Flatt T., & So-Long consortium: “Comparative transcriptomic analysis of the mechanisms underpinning ageing and fecundity in social insects"
January 2021 New study accepted in Biology Lettersby Negroni, M.A., Feldmeyer, B., Foitzik, S.: ”Experimental increase in fecundity causes upregulation of fecundity and body maintenance genes in the fat body of ant queens”
04.01.2021 New Study accepted in Myrmecological News by Choppin M, Graf S, Feldmeyer B, Libbrecht R, Menzel F, Foitzik S: "Queen and worker phenotypic traits are associated with colony composition and environment in Temnothorax rugatulus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), an ant with alternative reproductive strategies"
04.12.2020 New study accepted in Ecological Entomology by Sprenger PP*, Müsse C*, Hartke J,  Feldmeyer  B, Schmitt T, Gebauer G, Menzel F: "Dinner with the roommates: Trophic niche differentiation and competition in a mutualistic ant-ant association" (*authors contributed equally)."
04.11.2020 New study accepted in Journal of Evolutionary Biology by Hartke J, Waldvogel A-M, Sprenger PP, Schmitt T, Menzel F, Pfenninger M, Feldmeyer B: "Little parallelism in genomic signatures of local adaptation in two sympatric, cryptic sister species"
October 2020 New study accepted in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Bby Majoe, M., Libbrecht, R., Foitzik, S. Nehring, V.: “Queen loss increases worker survival in leaf-cutting ants under paraquat-induced oxidative stress”
September 2020 New study accepted in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Bby Negroni, M.A., Macit, M.N., Stoldt, M., Feldmeyer, B. Foitzik, S.: “Molecular regulation of lifespan extension in fertile ant workers”
06.03.2020 New study accepted in Journal of Animal Ecology by Mestre L, Narimanov N, Menzel F, Entling M: "Non-consumptive effects between predators depend on the foraging mode of intraguild prey."
13.01.2020 New study accepted in IScience by Libbrecht R, Nadrau D, Foitzik S: "A role of histone acetylation in the regulation of circadian rhythm in ants."
4.12.2019 New study accepted in Ecological Entomology by Houadria M & Menzel F: "Temporal and dietary niche is context-dependent in tropical ants."
18.11.2019 New study accepted in Myrmecological News by Sprenger PP & Menzel F: "Cuticular hydrocarbons in ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and other insects: how and why they differ among individuals, colonies, and species."
28.10.2019 New study accepted in Journal of Experimental Biology by Menzel F, Morsbach S, Martens JH, Räder P, Hadjadje S, Poizat M, Abou B: "Communication vs. waterproofing: the physics of insect cuticular hydrocarbons".
04.10.2019 New study accepted in Ecology and Evolution by Segers FHID, Kaltenpoth M, Foitzik S: "Abdominal microbial communities in ants depend on colony membership rather than caste and are linked to colony productivity."
04.10.2019 New study accepted in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology by Segev U, Foitzik S: "Ant personalities and behavioral plasticity along a climatic gradient."
04.10.2019 New study accepted in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B by Kaur R, Stoldt M, Jongepier E, Feldmeyer B, Menzel F, Bornberg-Baur E, Foitzik S: "Ant behaviour and brain gene expression of defending hosts depend on the ecological success of the intruding social parasite".
13.08.2019 New study accepted in Journal of Chemical Ecology by Sprenger PP, Hartke J, Feldmeyer B, Orivel J, Schmitt T, Menzel F: "Influence of Mutualistic Lifestyle, Mutualistic Partner, and Climate on Cuticular Hydrocarbon Profiles in Parabiotic Ants."
16.7.2019 New study accepted in Genome Biology and Evolution by Hartke J, Schell T, Jongepier E, Schmidt H, Sprenger PP, Paule J, Bornberg-Bauer E, Schmitt T, Menzel F, Pfenninger M, Feldmeyer B: "Hybrid genome assembly of a neotropical mutualistic ant."
3.7.2019 New study accepted in Ecology and Evolution by Hartke J*, Sprenger PP*, Sahm J, Winterberg H, Orivel J, Baur H, Beuerle T, Schmitt T, Feldmeyer B*, Menzel F* (*authors contributed equally): "Cuticular hydrocarbons as potential mediators of cryptic species divergence in a mutualistic ant association"
27.06.2019 Congratulations to Philip Kohlmeier, who received the Boehringer Ingelheim award for his PhD thesis. Every year, one excellent PhD thesis in the Faculty of Biology is rewarded.
21.05.2019 New study accepted in Ecology and Evolution by Grevé M, Houadria M, Andersen A, Menzel F: "Niche differentiation in rainforest ant communities across three continents"
09.05.2019 New study accepted in Journal of Experimental Biology by Peng, T, Segers FHID, Nascimento, FS, Grüter C.: "Resource profitability, but not caffeine affects individual and collective foraging in the stingless bee Plebeia droryana."
09.05.2019 New study accepted in Behavioral Ecology by Baudier K, Ostwald M, Grüter C, Segers F, Roubik D, Pavlic T, Pratt S, Fewell J.: "Changing of the guard: mixed specialization and flexibility in nest defense (Tetragonisca angustula)."
09.05.2019 New study accepted in Scientific Reports by Negroni, MA, Foitzik S, Feldmeyer S.: "Long-lived Temnothorax ant queens switch from investment in immunity to antioxidant production with age."
09.05.2019 New study accepted in Molecular Ecology by Alleman, A., Stoldt, M., Feldmeyer, B., Foitzik, S: "Tandem-Running and Scouting Behavior is Characterized by Up-Regulation of Learning and Memory Formation Genes within the Ant Brain."