Ecological and social interactions affect the behavioral responses of organisms. Ant societies in obligate mutualisms with plants are a fascinating pairing for studying coevolution. The plant and the needs it creates on the ant society shapes the behavior and morphology of society members
Yorlenis Y. González
Yorlenis has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, with a specialty in Botany at the University of Panama. She has been working in the lab since 2019, where she assists in the organization, design, coordination and execution of research projects on the behavior of Neotropical arthropods. She conducts field and laboratory observations and watches over equipment, materials, and everything related to laboratory logistics. She is interested in biodiversity, ecological associations and in learning new ways of doing science every day, in a practical way and that others can easily understand.
He is interested in the behavioral adaptations of arthropods and in how behavior affects evolution. He has explored these adaptations mainly through predator-prey interactions and foraging behavior. He has a general interest in insects and spiders, and his past research has focused on spider-eating assassin bugs. He is currently doing a comparative analysis of the behavior of assassin bugs in Costa Rica and Australia. Finally, he is also interested in the cognitive and sensory capacities of invertebrates and in how these relate to their ecological challenges.
Rosannette did her undergrad and master studies at the University of Costa Rica, working with behavioral plasticity in orb weaver spiderlings. Then, she did her PhD on behavioral ecology at the Instituto de Biociências of the Universidade de São Paulo, researching sexual selection and parental care using Opiliones. She is now a short-term postdoctoral Fellowship with a deep interest in animal behavior and science communication.
She is currently working in our lab on a review paper that aims to investigate what proportion of ant studies have been about behavior of Neotropical ants in the past five years? She is also developing some outreach/educational material regarding the behavior of Neotropical ants and in the past years she has developed an outreach project regarding daddy-long legs. You can find more about that project at: https://www.instagram.com/opilio_tracker/?hl=es
Dumas Gálvez is a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. He graduated from a Master in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Groningen (The Netherlands) in 2009. Later, he obtained a PhD focused in Ecology and Evolution in 2014 from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, where he worked on pathogen – ant interactions. He is currently working on a project aimed at discovering the effects of forest perturbation on the immune competence of the neotropical ant Ectatomma ruidum. Other lines of interest carried out by he and the students under his supervision include conservation, predator – prey interactions, ecology and evolution of arachnids, covering aspects of foraging strategies, defense against predators and pathogens, competition, among others. Moreover, they work with other arthropod groups, mostly aimed at experimental biology and hypothesis testing. He is also interested in the coloration of invertebrates in general, functionality and mechanism of color production. Besides, a current group member works on predator-prey interactions, using agoutis and ocelots as a system. Finally, his previous research experiences also covered subjects in ornithology, herpetology and animal-plant interactions.
- Katherine Porras – Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica. Intern March – November 2021
- Eleodoro Bonilla – Universidad de Panamá. Intern February 2019 – March 2022
- Brenda Virola – Universidad de Panamá. Intern May 2021 – May 2022
- Carlos Vega – Universidad de Panamá. Intern September 2021 – February 2022
- Vivian Orribarra – Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí. STRI Intern February – April 2019 & August – October 2021
Former lab members
- Jorge de la O Castro – Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica. Intern April 2021.
- Finote Gijsman – University of Northwestern, Evanston, Illinois. Intern September – November 2019.
- Maikol Guevara – Universidad de Panamá. Intern August – December 2019
- Aaron de Veres – University of Edinburgh. Short-term fellow. June – August 2019
- Paula Palacios – Universidad Del Valle (Colombia). Intern April – June 2019