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Ant behavior reveals possibilities for humans


April 29, 2010

InnovationSpace teaching assistant and graduate researcher Dan Wandrey reports on the work of Ph.D. biology student Adrian Smith, who studies chemical communication among desert-dwelling ants.

Social insects, such as ants, bees and wasps, rely heavily on chemical signals to communicate. Smith is part of a team that analyzed how ants use hydrocarbon readings as a measure of fertility and mating honesty.

Among the most efficient insects in nature, the social structures and behaviors of ants reveal incredible possibilities for humans, from organizational design to resource management and sustainability.