Annette Aiello

STRI Profile Page:

Potential co-supervisors
William Wcislo

Work in my lab aims to understand both the evolution of behavior, and the role of behavior in shaping evolutionary change across levels of biological organization. Specific work focuses on i) social behavior in bees (mainly Halictidae and Euglossini) to understand the origins of sociality; ii) fungus-growing ants (Attini) to understand the evolution of social complexity, especially with respect to symbiosis, disease and public health; iii) phenotypic innovations that enable night-vision in nocturnal bees, which we use to understand how niche shifts facilitate adaptive radiations; and iv) brain allometry in miniaturized arthropods and its functional significance. Current collaborators include molecular biologists, neurobiologists, physiologists, evolutionary biologists, ecologists and anthropologists. PDFs of our publications are available here.

Suggested Reading
  • Eberhard WG & Wcislo WT. 2011. Grade changes in brain-body allometry: morphological and behavioral correlates of brain size in miniature spiders, insects and other invertebrates. Advances in Insect Physiology 40: 155-213 [For a non-technical version, see Eberhard WG, and Wcislo WT. 2012. Plenty of room at the bottom? American Scientist 100: 226-233].

  • Smith AR, Seid MA, Jiménez L and Wcislo WT. 2010. Socially induced brain development in the mushroom body of the facultatively social sweat bee Megalopta genalis. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 277: 2157-2163.

  • Wcislo W.T. & Tierney S.M. 2009. Behavioural environments and niche construction: the evolution of dim-light foraging in bees. Biological Reviews 84: 19-37.

  • Biani N, Mueller U & Wcislo WT. 2009. A cleaning mutualism in bees and their mites. American Naturalist 173: 841-847.

  • Fernández-Marín H, Zimmerman JK, Nash DR, Boomsma JJ & Wcislo WT. 2009. Reduced biological control and enhanced chemical pest management in the evolution of fungus-farming in ants. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 276: 2263-2269.