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Natacha Rossi currently works at Queen Mary University of London (UK) in Chittka's lab on the use of radar tracking and chemical analyses to explore individual territorial behavior of male bumblebees.
July 2019 - December 2019
Instituto de Fisiologia Biologia Molecular y Neurociencias (IFIBBYNE)
- PostDoc Position
- Project: “Pheromonal control of Linepithema humile – comparison of its social and appetitive behavior in its native and introduced ranges” – Funded by ECOS +, Supervisor: Dr. Roxana Josens
February 2019 - March 2019
- PostDoc Position
- Project: “Space use by bees – radar tracking of spatial movement patterns of key pollinators” – Funded by the ERC Advanced Grant 2013, Supervisor: Prof. Lars Chittka
October 2018 - December 2018
Insects feature some of the most complex societies in the animal kingdom, but a historic perception persists that such complexity emerges from interactions between individuals whose behaviours are largely guided by innate routines. Challenging this perception, recent work shows that insects feature many aspects of social intelligence found in verte...
Extended ground level structures like roads or field edges can be important cues for navigating animals, seen for example in road-following pigeons. In a landscape devoid of skyline cues but with a rectangular grid of pathways and roads, we used harmonic radar to track free-flying bumble bees, Bombus terrestris. Individual bees consistently used gr...
Male honeybees (drones) are thought to congregate in large numbers in particular “drone congregation areas” to mate. We used harmonic radar to record the flight paths of individual drones and found that drones favoured certain locations within the landscape which were stable over two years. Surprisingly, drones often visit multiple potential lekkin...
The Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, is native from South America but has become one of the most invasive species in the world. These ants heavily rely on trail pheromones for foraging and previous studies have focused on this signal to develop a strategy of chemical control. Here, we studied the effect of pre-exposure to the trail pheromone on s...
In this opinion piece, we briefly review our knowledge of the mechanisms underlying auditory individual recognition in birds and chemical nest-mate recognition in social Hymenoptera. We argue that even though detection and perception of recognition cues are well studied in social Hymenoptera, the neural mechanisms remain a black box. We compare our...
The ecological and evolutionary success of social insects relies on their ability to efficiently discriminate between group members and aliens. Nestmate recognition occurs by phenotype matching, the comparison of the referent (colony) phenotype to the one of an encountered individual. Based on the level of dissimilarity between the two, the discrim...
Pheromones are chemical substances released into the environment by an individual, which trigger stereotyped behaviors and/or physiological processes in individuals of the same species. Yet, a novel hypothesis has suggested that pheromones not only elicit innate responses but also contribute to behavioral plasticity by acting as “modulators” of cog...
Pheromones are chemical substances released into the environment by an individual, which trigger stereotyped behaviors and/or physiological processes in individuals of the same species. Yet, a novel hypothesis has suggested that pheromones not only elicit innate responses but also contribute to behavioral plasticity by affecting the subjective eval...
The flower constancy (the visit to a single plant species during a foraging trip) in pollinator insects is a theme widely discussed in behavioral ecology and has an important implication in the evolution of angiosperms. This behavior was studied in the bumblebees Bombus atratus Franklin and Bombus bellicosus Smith through palynological analysis of...
I am looking for a company that can supply boxes of Bombus terrestris audax virgin queens for laboratory experiments. Does anyone know of a company that could provide such a service? I've already asked Biobest and Koppert who answered in the negative.
Thank you in advance!
Hi, I'm looking for a 3D tracking system to reconstruct the trajectories of flying bumblebees in a white environment with a few plants. The size of the environment is ~5x2x2m. I am struggling to find a system that can cover the entire area without losing the bees. Any help is welcome, thanks!
I would like to know if it is possible to breed Apis cerana in Europe in order to merge it with Apis mellifera under controlled conditions of course.
Many important questions regarding the particular patrol flying of male bumble bees remain unanswered given that the past work is largely based on fragmentary observations and speculation since bees were often not individually marked and their flight speed and covered area prevented lasting tracking, especially when bees disappeared in vegetation or at elevated locations (e.g. tree tops). The difficulty in observing mating behavior in many social insect species means that far less information about these behaviors and their consequences for paternity success is available compared to non-social insects or vertebrates. The aim of this project is to use advanced spatial and chemical technology to give us access to those information and decipher the mechanisms in action during male territorial behavior using Bombus terrestris as study organism.
The Argentine ant Linepithema humile is a worldwide invasive species. It has negative impacts on many other species besides favoring Hemiptera pests in agricultural environments. The aim of this project is to study the social and appetitive behavior of this species in order to understand the organization of the colonies and improve control baits. The idea is to maximize the intake of sugar baits thanks to pheromonal modulation of appetitive behavior using synthetic trail pheromone component. Social olfactory learning will also be studied in order to make baits highly species-specific and control for possible collateral effects of the baits.