iSEE Lab

Invertebrate Sensory Ecology and Ethology Lab

Invertebrate Ethology and Sensory Ecology Research

Our lab explores the communication systems, sensory ecology, navigation, and social regulation of arthropods, with a primary focus on polydomous ant species. Polydomous ants, with their complex social structures spanning multiple nests, offer unique insights into collective behaviors. We investigate how these ants utilize long-range signals and cues to regulate worker reproduction and maintain cohesion across spatially separated nests. Additionally, we explore the pivotal role of brood in mediating colony processes, such as reallocating resources and regulating worker tasks. Through our research, we aim to uncover the underlying mechanisms of reproductive regulation, brood influence, and long-range communication in ant colonies. By doing so, we seek to reveal general principles about biological communication networks, collective decision-making, and the evolution of adaptive social strategies. Understanding these principles not only enhances our knowledge of ant societies but also sheds light on broader concepts in biology and social organization.

Biology Education and Mentoring

I have developed a teaching philosophy centered on evidence-based education to enhance student understanding and critical thinking across biology curricula. My approach emphasizes active learning, inclusivity, and continuous assessment to foster lifelong learning and inquiry-based reasoning. With over a decade of experience in diverse educational settings, I tailor my methods to meet the varied needs of students, creating an engaging and supportive learning environment. I employ various strategies, including case studies, group discussions, and hands-on activities, to promote deeper understanding and real-world application of knowledge. Additionally, I prioritize bidirectional feedback and self-reflection to continually improve my teaching practices. My commitment extends beyond the classroom, mentoring undergraduate and graduate students, and developing innovative programs to connect students with faculty and the broader scientific community, ultimately aiming to empower students as responsible citizens in an information-rich world.