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Concepts in Social Evolution – Department of Biology - University of Copenhagen

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Concepts in Social Evolution

We often test predictions from Hamiltonian inclusive fitness theory, but also contribute to develop the theory and making it more coherent. An example is the monogamy hypothesis for the evolution of eusociality as outlined in three review papers (Boomsma 2007Boomsma 2009Boomsma 2013) and a recent extension of the same logic towards multiqueen sociaties (Boomsma et al. 2014) as they are often found in ants, but rarely or not in corbiculate bees, vespine wasps and higher termites. Comparative analyses of punishment and policing across the domains of social evolution, and evaluations of the coherence of eusociality and superorganism definitions are also part of this program. 

Model System

  • Eusocial and cooperatively breeding animals


  • Reviews of existing literature

  • Opinion papers
  • Matters arising
  • Book reviews


Principal Investigator

Jacobus (Koos) Boomsma


Co-PIs (Internal)

David Nash

Associate Professor

Jes Søe Pedersen

Associate Professor

Close Collaborators

Birgitte Regenberg

Associate Professor

Cell Biology and Physiology

University of Copenhagen

Post Docs

Lukas Schrader

Roberta Fisher