Stephanie Wendt

My name is Stephanie Wendt, and I am currently a PhD student at the Animal Comparative Economics Laboratory at the University of Regensburg. My current research interest is on economic decision making of the black garden ant Lasius niger and how it is affected by reward expectations. I have been investigating the individual and collective behaviour of ants since my bachelor’s studies, including leaf-cutter ants such as Atta laevigata and nectar collecting ants of the genus Camponotus. Me becoming a myrmecologist was not always set in stone, though. While I was highly fascinated by insects as a child, I slowly developed an insect phobia as a teenager. Remembering the beautiful moments which insects had given me encouraged me to push against this, and – helped along by some charming hissing cockroaches – I rediscovered my earlier fascination and I enthusiastically made my way back into the insect kingdom. Now, I am more in love with insects than I ever was before.
Apart from my research, I am particularly interested in the behavioural ecology and taxonomy of ants. I started learning macrophotography skills in order to capture the many different shapes of ants which have evolved to suit their numerous different lifestyles. If I am not in the lab doing research or crawling in the mud looking for more ants to take pictures of, I will be reading over a cup of tea, playing computer games with friends, or watching TV-series. If you have an interesting ant story to tell, please share it with me by contacting me at wendtstephanie[@]outlook.de!

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