CEM Seminar- Sylvia Cremer
April 27, 2017 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Institute of Science and Technology, Austria
*more info coming soon
Sylvia Cremer is an Evolutionary Biologist interested in behavioral ecology and evolutionary immunology in ant societies. With her team, she studies individual and collective anti-pathogen defenses of ants, by a combination of behavioral observations, physiological and molecular measures of immunity, and chemical analyses.
Colonies of social insects, like other societies, face the problem of a high risk of disease transmission among the group members. This is primarily due to close interactions and high within colony densities. Despite this risk, epidemics occur extremely rarely in the colonies of social insects (e.g. bees, ants, termites), as they have evolved collective anti-pathogen defenses that complement the individual immune systems of group members. This "social immunity" comprises a) hygiene behaviors, such as mutual allogrooming, b) joint physiological defenses, as the production and application of antimicrobial substances and c) the modulation of interaction types and frequencies upon exposure of group members to pathogens.
The Cremer group studies all aspects of social immune defenses in ants to learn more about disease management and epidemiology in societies.