Andreas is a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Entomology at the Penn State University, recently having moved here from the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Biological Sciences where he worked alongside Jonathan Pruitt. His research is primarily focused on the evolution of sociality through studying behavioral variation on multiple scales, that is, individual, group and species level. He uses a mixture of, both, field and laboratory experiments to investigate how ecological factors influence the evolution and maintenance of behavioral variation.
Charissa is a molecular biologist, interested in the complexity of fungi displayed by their very dynamic transcriptome and metabolome. She has come from strong background in fungal genetics using a well understood model system Aspergillus niger and is now applying this to the fungi that control ant behavior. Charissa has moved beyond the lab to include field work in the Amazon and Atlantic rainforests of Brazil as well as the hot and humid woods of South Carolina. She is exploring among other things how specific zombie ant fungi are at the molecular level using metabolomics and proteomics with a view to integrating the trancriptome too. Charissa is currently away, but still continuing her research while in Munich.