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Arizona State University’s social insect research group (SIRG) studies the evolution and organization of insect societies from the level of the gene up to their ecology and evolution. Our research includes mechanistic studies of the neural and biochemical foundations of behavior and physiology, examined through questions aimed at understanding the evolution of social behavior.
The fundamental questions we ask include:
Our research group combines classical behavioral and ecological approaches with a wide range of cutting-edge techniques at all levels of biological organization, including:
We have a vibrant research environment, with ten core faculty and several affiliated faculty, as well as postdocs, graduate students and undergraduates all conducting research. SIRG faculty and students meet weekly to discuss ongoing projects and hear presentations from leading scientists from around the world.
Our diverse field projects occur internationally from the tropics of central and South America, to the rangelands of Asia and throughout the western U.S. These projects focus on the incredible diversity of social insect species in the desert Southwest.
Graduate students with the social insect research group regularly receive National Science Foundation graduate research fellowships, doctoral improvement grants, and major research honors such as the Eickwort award. Our graduate students are enrolled in PhD programs in animal behavior, biology, evolutionary biology and neuroscience.
You will see publications from SIRG members regularly appear in journals such as SCIENCE, NATURE, PNAS, PLOS Biology, Current Biology and Proceedings of the Royal Society B.