Author Archives: admin

Sampling European Hornets

We went to sample some Vespa crabro workers at the end of the summer. MSci student Iona had previously located the active nest within a public park. PhD student Owen and Lewis joined the fieldtrip one Friday afternoon in North London. Postdoc Emeline brought tubes and protective gear, while Hornet expert John arrived with an appropriate net.   The nest was busy with workers and (at least) one male going in and out of the tree hole. At this time

In2Science A-level student blog

Ed: We were delighted to host A-level student Elo Wilkinson-Rowe in our lab for two weeks in the summer of 2018. She threw herself into being a research scientist with great gusto, and seems to have enjoyed herself. Read her Blog below. If you are interested in the In2Science scheme (as a student or a host), see more here.   Two Weeks in a Wasp Lab by In2Science student, Elo Wilkinson-Rowe I received the news that I was to be

Lessons From the Jungle

Trinidad Jungle

This summer I was fortunate enough to be able to join the Sumner lab for a field season out in Trinidad. My role was as a research assistant as part of a four-person team working on two projects looking at species of tropical social wasps. This first was examining

New paper published: first social wasp genome and more…!

Queen or worker? Flexibility between roles relies on just a few genes Two insect species from Latin America, the dinosaur ant and the red paper wasp, have been used to uncover the molecular mechanisms underpinning queen and worker roles in social insects. The research by an international team of scientists brings us closer to understanding how genomes are used to generate castes in social evolution. Researchers from the University of Bristol, the Babraham Institute (Cambridge, UK) and the Centre for

“Why fly half way across the world to Trinidad when there are plenty of wasps drowning in my lemonade in Peckham?”


‘Why fly half way across the world to Trinidad when there are plenty of wasps drowning in my lemonade in Peckham?’ was a fairly reasonable question I was asked by a friend. Trinidad may not initially seem a prime location for conducting field work, yet it is one of the regions with the greatest diversity of social Hymenoptera species in the world;

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