Tag Archives: Sumner

IUSSI Conference Cairns 2014

This summer both Seirian and Emily attended the International Union for the Study of Social Insects international conference in Cairns, Australia. The event was hosted in the Cairns Conference Centre next to the Great Barrier Reef and really was a stunning location. Social insect researchers from all over the globe gathered to present and discuss their science. Seirian and Emily successfully gave talks during the week addressing the use of genomics in understanding social evolution and caste plasticity in tropical

Research Published! Colony size predicts division of labour in attine ants


Henry Ferguson-Gow, Seirian Sumner, Andrew F. G. Bourke and Kate E. Jones   Division of labour is central to the ecological success of eusocial insects, yet the evolutionary factors driving increases in complexity in division of labour are little known. The size–complexity hypothesis proposes that, as larger colonies evolve, both non-reproductive and reproductive division of labour become more complex as workers and queens act to maximize inclusive fitness. Using a statistically robust phylogenetic comparative analysis of social and environmental traits

Research Published! A Novel Method of Assessing Dominance Hierarchies Shows Nuance, Linearity and Stability in the Dinosaur Ant Dinoponera quadriceps


Daniel P. Grainger, Claire L. Asher, Julia C. Jones, Fabio S. Nascimento, Seirian Sumner and William O. H. Hughes   Many social species with relatively simple societies have dominance hierarchies of individuals, with dominant individuals achieving fitness and subordinate individuals either queuing to obtain fitness or achieving only indirect fitness by helping relatives. Assessing the dominance hierarchy in a social group is generally based upon observing dyadic interactions as and when they occur spontaneously within the whole-group setting. However, this

Research Published! Fine‐scale spatial genetic structure of common and declining bumble bees across an agricultural landscape


Stephanie Dreier, John W. Redhead, Ian A. Warren, Andrew F. G. Bourke, Matthew S. Heard, William C. Jordan, Seirian Sumner, Jinliang Wang and Claire Carvell   Land-use changes have threatened populations of many insect pollinators, including bumble bees. Patterns of dispersal and gene flow are key determinants of species’ ability to respond to land-use change, but have been little investigated at a fine scale (<10 km) in bumble bees. Using microsatellite markers, we determined the fine-scale spatial genetic structure of populations

Research Published! Extensive Local Gene Duplication and Functional Divergence among Paralogs in Atlantic Salmon


By Ian A. Warren, Kate L. Ciborowski, Elisa Casadei, David G. Hazlerigg, Sam Martin, William C. Jordan and Seirian Sumner. Many organisms can generate alternative phenotypes from the same genome, enabling individuals to exploit diverse and variable environments. A prevailing hypothesis is that such adaptation has been favored by gene duplication events, which generate redundant genomic material that may evolve divergent functions. Vertebrate examples of recent whole-genome duplications are sparse although one example is the salmonids, which have undergone a whole-genome