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Peter Nonacs

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

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Research Interests

I view my overall research program as being at the intersection of Evolutionary and Behavioral Ecology. I like to explore both evolutionary why questions and behavioral how questions. My students and I use a wide range of methods, which range from the development of theory through mathematical modeling, to controlled experiments in the lab and semi-natural field situations, to field work at various sites in California and Panama. Currently we have six areas of ongoing research in the topics of: (1) Reproductive skew theory; (2) Parental investment strategies; (3) Biocontrol of invasive pest ants; (4) The maintenance and evolutionary consequences of genetic diversity; (5) General questions of social evolution; and (6) Sexual selection, sexual conflict and alternative reproductive strategies. Although most of my work and that of my students is with social Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps), my lab is open to any model system or species depending on how well suited they are to answering exciting evolutionary questions.