Study systems include
I work on an interaction between ants and a specialized fungal parasite. The parasite infects the ant host and takes over control of the ant using it as a puppet. The fungus manipulates the host behavior and place it in a specific place before killing it. The location where the ants die is crucial for the parasite development. From the dead ant, the parasite grows and releases spores that will infect a new host.
I have very strong background in tropical ant behavioral ecology. I've been working on the spatial dynamics of disease spread in ant societies inside tropical forests. My Masters work focused on modeling the position of ant trails and parasitized ants cadavers using spatial models from architecture. I am currently extending this to different scales ranging from continental dynamics to metabolites inside the parasitized ants. Most recently I have become very interested in biogeography of the extended phenotype using molecular tools to answer ecological and behavioral questions.