Ants, Bees, Genomes & Evolution @ Queen Mary University London

Genomic bases of sociality in insects

Theory can explain benefits and costs of social evolution, but we are only beginning to understand its molecular bases.

We examine the interplay between social evolution and genome evolution. As part of this, we identify genes and mechanisms involved in the evolution of insect societies.

Our findings have general impacts on understanding how new phenotypes evolve.

fire ants on the genomic sequence of their social chromosome
fire ants on the genomic sequence of their social chromosome

Empowering genomic data scientists

The dramatic drop in the cost of DNA sequencing means that anyone can sequence anything - and lots of it. This creates exciting opportunities but also new challenges: how should we reliably and effectively handle, analyze and visualize large datasets?

We develop innovative tools and approaches to facilitate modern biological work on species across the tree of life. We pay special attention to visualization and user experience.

how tools should be
how tools should be

Protecting pollinators, biodiversity and crops

Wild pollinators including bumblebees, solitary bees, butterflies, wasps, moths, and beetles are essential for ecosystem stability and food production. Their worldwide declines are thus worrying.

A key challenge is our lack of tools for measuring pollinator health: we know whether an individual is dead, but when an insect is alive, one cannot tell whether it is unwell. We are developing high-resolution tools to improve our ability to measure pollinator health.

bumblebee on flower
how tools should be

We are grateful for support from our funders:

funding bodies