Megalomyrmex ant silhouette

Ant Evolution and Symbioses

Our Research

We aim to understand the evolution of traits that drive community assembly in ant-centric symbiotic species networks. We accomplish this by (1) determining the chemical communication processes that mediate both antagonistic and cooperative symbiotic interactions, (2) identifying the evolutionary transitions of traits of interest within ant genera, and (3) determining the genetic underpinnings of adaptive traits.

& Inclusion

In the Adams Lab, we strive to cultivate a research group built on mentorship, encouragement, tolerance and mutual respect. We encourage the participation of anyone with a commitment to scientific excellence from all dimensions of diversity. We recognize that diverse perspectives enhance scientific discovery, build richer relationships and ultimately benefit the world. We therefore welcome students, postdocs, and visiting scholars regardless of race, cultural background, age, gender identification, sexual orientation, or physical ability. Aligned with OSU’s principles and diversity mission, we intend to help build a scientific community reflective of society’s diversity.


April 2018

The Adams Lab welcomed Science Olympiad students from schools in Solon and Chardon, Ohio. Mazie, Matt, Cody and Amy introduced high school students to our fungus-growing ants. Activities included an exercise in collecting behavioral data and observing leaf-cutter ants in action. Thanks to Solon and Chardon Science Olympiad for visiting!

Cody Cardenas will head to French Guiana in August to attend the Ant Course! Congratulations Cody!

Matt Boot received $4000 from the Office of International Affairs / Academic Enrichment Grant to work in Panama this summer (Title: A Geographic Basis for Coevolutionary Dynamics in the Mercenary-Ant Symbiosis).

Cody Cardenas received $4000 from the Office of International Affairs / Academic Enrichment Grant to work in Panama this summer (Title: Unearthing the Overlooked Fungus-growing Ant Parasitoid Relationship).

Amy Luo received first place for her poster at the OSU Denman Undergraduate Research Forum (Category: Environment and Conservation Monitoring)

Museum of Biological Diversity: We had our annual Open House event! We showed close to 4000 people how amazing fungus-growing ants are! This year the theme was Magnified so we also focused on the ant life cycle and Ohio Ants.

Best quote of the day:

I had no idea that ants were so cool!

Best quote Rachelle overheard from the Adams Lab Team:

It's like living in a gingerbread house where you can eat the walls but the walls are made of mushroom!

Rachelle was invited by the De Bekker Lab to give a talk at the University of Central Florida, Department of Biology - "Farmers, Bandits, and Samurai: Trials and Tribulations of the Ant World"

March 2018

The Adams Lab was invited to discuss ant communication with the kids at the STEAM Factory's Saturday with a Scholar event. Also featured was speaker Angelika Nelson (Borror Lab)

Matt Boot is awarded the The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship ($1,840) for his field work in Panama! Congratulations!

Cody Cardenas is awarded the OSU Obey Scholarship ($2,000). He will spend this on his summer field work in Panama! Congratulations!

February 2018

Adams Lab showed off our ants to about 45 Girl Scout Brownies at Bugs are for Girls! Best quote of the day:

I want to be a… what do you call it? Myrmecologist!

Rachelle was invited to give a talk at the University of Louisville Biology Department - "Chemical weaponry function: How social parasites dominate and protect their ant associates"

Rachelle is the keynote speaker at The University of Southern Mississippi, Department of Biological Sciences, Darwin Day celebration (Feb. 9, 2018) - "Farmers, Bandits, and Samurai: Trials and Tribulations of the Ant World" - Hattiesburg, MS