Ants, Ants, and More Ants: What Research on Ants can Teach us about Ourselves and our Future as a Species


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Feb 08 2021 35 mins   9

Should ants be considered unsightly pests or ecological saviors? Before you decide to eradicate the ant hills from your backyard, take the time to learn about the ecological role of insects in their local ecosystems and the benefits of keeping ants in yours.

Listen to expand your knowledge on:

  • The difference between indigenous and invasive ants species
  • How ants see, walk, hear, communicate and other fascinating ants facts
  • The striking similarities between ant and human social behaviors

Professor and Ant Scientist, Andrew Suarez specializes in ant biology and psychology. His research on ants sheds light upon this commonly misunderstood and even villainized insect. Andrew’s lab focuses on bio-inspired design, which boils down to observing organisms in nature and adapting their approaches to work, survival, and life for potential human use. Exploring the ants habitat and turning their intricate design processes into human innovations could lead to countless breakthroughs in an unforeseen number of industries.

Entomology and forensics working together can create small connections that add up to the big picture of human survival and advancement. The variations seen in different types of ants offer a unique perspective on the evolution of social interactions and physical adaptations that can apply to larger organisms and even to human beings.

The future of ant research is an exciting prospect. How do ants recognize and communicate with one another? How does an ant instinctively know what its job is within its colony and how to perform it? What if ants are the secret to decoding the future of human evolution? Professor Suarez leads the way in recognizing the questions and finding the answers to how these ecologically flexible insects can both inspire and educate us.

To learn more about the study of ants visit https://sib.illinois.edu/suarez/

Available on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/2Os0myK