Pharaoh ant Monomorium pharaonis queen and workers,©Luigi Pontieri

We study the genetic and behavioral underpinnings of complex social systems in order to understand how these systems function and evolve. We are especially interested in how social interactions affect genetic architecture and trait evolution.

We use social insects, such as the pharaoh ant pictured above, as a study system because they are exemplar social systems and are also well-established models for research in social evolution, behavioral genetics, and collective behavior.

Word cloud illustrating common words used in publications

Recent Publications


Pontieri, L., Schmidt A. M., Singh R., Pedersen J. S., & Linksvayer T. A. (2017).  Artificial selection on ant female caste ratio uncovers a link between female-biased sex ratios and infection by Wolbachia endosymbionts. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 30, 225-234.

Warner, M. R., Mikheyev A. S., & Linksvayer T. A. (2017).  Genomic signature of kin selection in an ant with obligately sterile workers. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 34: 1780-1787 | Warner et al MBE 2017


Tarpy, D. R., Simone-Finstrom M., & Linksvayer T. A. (2016).  Honey bee colonies regulate queen reproductive traits by controlling which queens survive to adulthood. Insectes Sociaux. 63, 169-174. | PDF – tarpy_et_al_2016_insectes_sociaux.pdf

Warner, M. R., Kovaka K., & Linksvayer T. A. (2016).  Late-instar ant worker larvae play a prominent role in colony-level caste regulation. Insectes Sociaux. doi:10.1007/s00040-016-0501-3

Linksvayer, T. A., & Wade M. J. (2016).  Theoretical predictions for sociogenomic data: the effects of kin selection and sex-limited expression on the evolution of social insect genomes. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 4, 65. | PDF – linksvayer_and_wade_2016_predictions_for_sociogenomic_data.pdf


Keller, K., Ishak H. D., Linksvayer T. A., & Mueller U. G. (2015).  Bacterial community composition and diversity in an ancestral ant fungus symbiosis. FEMS Microbiology Ecology. 91, fiv073. Editor’s Choice article for issue 91.7 of FEMS Microbiology Ecology | PDF – kellner_et_al_2015-24n522e

Akçay, E., Linksvayer T. A., & Van Cleve J. (2015).  Bridging social evolution theory and emerging empirical approaches to social behavior. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences. 6, 59-64. | PDF – akcay_et_al_2015_current_opinion-24n6dka

Mikheyev, A. S., & Linksvayer T. A. (2015).  Genes associated with ant social behavior show distinct transcriptional and evolutionary patterns. eLife. 4, e04775. | PDF – mikheyev_and_linksvayer_2015_elife-1rjaxdx

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