My name is Julia Giehr and I am a PhD student at the University of Regensburg. My studies focus on different life history aspects of ants and the evolution of social insect societies. Beside my studies I love to take pictures of my study species Temnothorax crassispinus and Cardiocondyla obscurior as well as other ants and insects.

Current project:

My current project is about “the importance of direct fitness for helpers in advanced insect societies”.

This project will enhance our knowledge about eusociality and indirect fitness in a social animal. In  the ant species Temnothorax crassispinus workers refrain from producing males in the presence of a queen. However, in queenless colonies, workers establish a hierarchy with a top-ranking reproductive worker. So far little is known about the effects of worker reproduction on the direct worker fitness in social insects. In this project we will investigate the abundance of reproductive workers and the fitness of the produced offspring in a wild T. crassispinus population.

Previous projects:

  • Reproductive biology in the genus Cardiocondyla (Master thesis)
  1. “Influence of queen and worker age composition on colony fitness in C. obscurior
    (Gieht et al. 2017)
  2. “Genetic variability and reproductive strategies in C. elegans
  3. “The ant C. elegans as host of the enigmatic endoparasitic fungus M. durum
    (Giehr et al. 2015)
  • Stress tolerance and terminal investment in Cardiocondyla obscurior (Bachelor thesis)