Manage episode 328289504 series 1941323
How does one of the most diverse groups on the planet, the ants, interact with the extremely diverse group of microbes that live on and inside them?
On this episode, we talk to Corrie Moreau, a professor of entomology at Cornell University, about the diversity and influence of microbes in ants. For Corrie, these microbes are a sort of internal rainforest, whose presence directly impacts the lives of the ants who carry them. Many ant-microbe relationships have evolved over millions of years, resulting in specialized interactions – from fungus-farming in leaf cutter ants, to insect mind control by the Ophiocordyceps fungus, to distortion of insect reproduction by Wolbachia bacteria. We also chat with Corrie about science communication, and how making biology a welcoming and diverse place will inspire the next generation of researchers and promote greater trust in science by the public.
Cover art: Keating Shahmehri