Olfactory Eavesdropping In Aussie Stingless Bees

Dr Ros Gloag is a lecturer in evolutionary biology at the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, the University of Sydney. She researches the behaviour and genetics of bees in Australia including invasive bees and native stingless bees. Ros first worked on stingless bees for her university honours project in 2006. Her research on fighting swarms in the stingless bee T. carbonaria expanded our knowledge of that fascinating but destructive behaviour by proving that fighting swarms consisted of two or more colonies. Not content with a single study for her honours year, Ros also showed that males of T. carbonaria do not lay eggs, as some social bees do. These studies set Ros’ career model of using advanced DNA analyses to answer ecological and behavioural questions. She then took herself to the University of Oxford to undertake her PhD on the evolutionary ecology of parasitic birds. But by 2014 she was back at the University of Sydney to work on the ecology and genetics of bees, completing many studies such as the one that she is reporting on in this issue of the Cross-Pollinator. Just this year Ros became an ARC DECRA Fellow researching the genetics and ecology of native Australian bees, so we can look forward to at least 3 more years of exciting discoveries. In this article, Ros demonstrates she is not just a talented researcher, but an engaging communicator.

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