|   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


Walsh JT, L Pontieri, P d’Ettorre, TA Linksvayer. 2020. Ant cuticular hydrocarbons are heritable and associated with variation in colony productivity. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 287: 20201029. | website, PDF

Walsh JT, S Garnier, TA Linksvayer. 2020. Ant collective behavior is heritable and shaped by selection. American Naturalist 196: 10.1086/710709 | website, PDF

Singh R, TA Linksvayer. 2020. The bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia increases reproductive investment and accelerates the life cycle of ant colonies. Journal of Experimental Biology 223: doi: 10.1242/jeb.220079 | websitePDF

Friedman DA, BR Johnson, TA Linksvayer. 2020. Distributed physiology and the molecular basis of social life in eusocial insects. Hormones and Behavior 122: 104757 | website, PDF

Tong C, GB Najim, N Pinter-Wollman, JN Pruitt, TA Linksvayer. 2020. Comparative genomics identifies putative signatures of sociality in spiders. Genome Biology and Evolution 12: 122-133. | websitePDF

Highlight in issue: Untangling the genetic basis of sociality in spiders.


Linksvayer TA, BR Johnson. 2019. Re-thinking the social ladder approach for elucidating the evolution and molecular basis of insect societies. Current Opinion in Insect Science 34: 123-129. | website, PDF

Warner MR, AS Mikheyev, TA Linksvayer. 2019. Transcriptomic basis and evolution of the ant interactome. PLoS Genetics 15: e1008156| website, PDF

Warner MR, L Qiu, MJ Holmes, AS Mikheyev, TA Linksvayer. 2019. The convergent evolution of caste in ants and honey bees is based on a shared core of ancient reproductive genes and many plastic genes. Nature Communications 10: 2651. | website, PDF


Walsh JT, L Signorotti, TA Linksvayer, P d’Ettorre. 2018. Phenotypic correlation between queen and worker brood care supports the role of maternal care in the evolution of eusociality. Ecology and Evolution 2018: 1-7. |  PDF

Walsh JT, MR Warner, A Kase, BJ Cushing, TA Linksvayer. 2018. Ant nurse workers exhibit behavioural and transcriptomic specialization on larval stage. Animal Behaviour 141: 161-169. |  PDF

Warner MR, J Lipponen, TA Linksvayer. Pharaoh ant colonies dynamically regulate reproductive allocation based on colony demography. Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology 72: 31. |  PDF


Gospocic J, EJ Shields, KM Glastad, Y Lin, CA Penick, H Yan, AS Mikheyev, TA Linksvayer, BA Garcia, S Berger, J Liebig, D Reinberg, R Bonasio. (2017). The
neuropeptide corazonin controls social behavior and caste identity in ants. Cell 170:
748-759. |  

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. |  PDF

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. | PDF


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

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 63: 575-583. | PDF

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


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. | PDF

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

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

Jasper, W. C., Linksvayer T. A., Atallah J., Friedman D., Chiu J. C., & Johnson B. R. (2015).  Large scale coding sequence change underlies the evolution of post-developmental novelty in honey bees. Molecular Biology and Evolution 32: 334-346. | WebsitePDF

Linksvayer, T. A. (2015).  The molecular and evolutionary genetic implications of being truly social for the social insects. Advances in Insect Physiology 48: 271-292. | PDF

Vojvodic, S., Johnson B. R., Harpur B., Kent C., Zayed A., Anderson K. E., & Linksvayer T. A. (2015).  The transcriptomic and evolutionary signature of social interactions regulating honey bee caste development. Ecology and Evolution: DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1720. PDF

Skip to toolbar