Ant Course

Ant Course in Uganda (and a blog break)

Tomorrow morning I and other ant researchers head to the famous annual Ant Course, held this year at the Makerere University Biological Field Station in Kibale, Uganda. It’s been a few years since my last participation at Ant Course. I’ve never been to that part of the world before, and I’m excited to see some old friends. Plus, the ant fauna looks…enticing. If all goes well I’ll finally get shots of the spectacular surface-raiding Dorylus driver ants.

Another tropical adventure, however, means I won’t be keeping up with the blogging. Myrmecos will be on vacation for the next couple weeks, but it’s all in the name of spicing this place up with crazy African insects when I return.

Happy August, everyone!

Course Announcement: Ants of the Southwest

You may be familiar with the California Academy of Science’s extremely popular Ant Course, which offers intensive taxonomic training in a once-a-year workshop held at an exotic locale. Ant Course is fantastic, with all its taxonomicky taxonomy and systematicky systematics. What if your anty interests, however, tend more to ecology and behavior?

A new course is being offered this summer just for you:

Ants of the Southwest
21-31 August, 2012

The American Southwest is a hotspot for North American ant diversity, with over 350 species of ants known from Arizona, and a variety of ecologically interesting taxa – including leafcutters, harvester ants, army ants, and honeypot ants. In this 10-night course, participants will gain knowledge of the outstanding diversity, ecology, and behavior of southwestern ants. This course is designed with curriculum that complements rather than competes with the California Academy of Sciences Ant Course, which is also held at the SWRS once every three years and focuses heavily on the taxonomy and systematics of ants. Although this course also covers basic taxonomy and systematics, its major focus will be on the ecology and behavior of ants.

The course will include lectures, field trips, field experiments, and labs. Participants will obtain hands-on experience in experimental techniques with both field and captive ant colonies. The course will also cover current topics in ant behavior and ecology research. Students will leave the course with a small collection they create, and may have the opportunity to set up a captive laboratory colony.