I am Felix Oberhauser, currently a postdoc at the Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour (https://www.exc.uni-konstanz.de/collective-behaviour/) at the University of Konstanz, where I investigate how information is spread and shared about insect collectives and how group decisions arise from individual assessments. Before that, I was a PhD student at the Animal Comparative Economics Laboratory at the University of Regensburg, where I investigated decision-making, learning abilities, and reward expectations in the black garden ant Lasius niger. I have been fascinated by ants since my early childhood, often watching the long raiding trails of Formica sanguinea and wondering about their organisation. During my master’s thesis in Costa Rica, I finally found myself in ant wonderland: Long trails of leaf-cutters, golden Camponotus, and large bivouacs of living Eciton army ants. Since then, I have worked with many ant species and especially enjoy observing the behaviour of both the individual and the collective. I am interested in all social insects but especially in behavioural ecology and collective behaviour of ants. If there is an opportunity to work with ants in the field, I try my best to seize it.
If you have an interesting story about social insects – do let me know! You’ll reach me at felix.oberhauser[at]outlook.com.