Jonna Kulmuni, Pierre Nouhaud, Jack Beresford and Patrick Heidbreder have been collecting samples and data on red wood ants since Spring. Their aim is to better understand how temperature affects the survival of Formica aquilonia and F. polyctena populations, along with the survival of their hybrids. Fieldwork takes place in Southern Finland and includes the long-term monitoring of supercolonies located around the Tvärminne Zoological Station.
Summer is the time for our “birdie” members to do their fieldwork! Rose Thorogood, Ed Kluen, Katja Rönkä, Deryk Tolman, Nora Bergman, and Juho Jolkkonen are looking for reed warblers in the reedbed areas near Helsinki to study whether these birds use social information to defend themselves from the cuckoo, a brood parasite that lays its eggs in the nest of other bird species. Teresa Abaurrea, on the other hand, is in Oulu, further North of Finland, investigating the mechanisms the cuckoo uses to manipulate its hosts and get as much parental care as it can.
If you want to know more about the SpeciAnt project, have a look here (https://www2.helsinki.fi/en/researchgroups/evolution-sociality-behaviour/speciation-and-hybridization-in-ants)
And to know more about our research on social information use and brood parasitism, check these websites: