Fieldwork – Department of Biology - University of Copenhagen

Sites where we do field work

We collect samples of garden ants, carpenter ants, large blue butterflies, Myrmica ants and other social insects from many countries throughout Europe. In Denmark field work is mainly carried out in Jutland on the islands of Læsø and Bornholm. Studies of Pharaoh ants have concentrated on Denmark and Ghana as sampling localities, but we have also received material from Cameroun, Germany, Hungary, Ivory Coast, Japan, Malaysia, Panama, Switzerland, Taiwan, UK and USA. CSE also has a small apiary at the Frederiksberg campus.

Since 1992 we have carried out field work on fungus-growing ants in and around Gamboa, Panama, where we are hosted by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI). This is also where we collect fungus-growing ants for our laboratory experiments in Copenhagen.

Sampling of fungus-growing termites has focused on South Africa, where we are hosted by the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) of the University of Pretoria. Studies on root aphids that are tended as obligate symbionts in underground nest chambers of garden ants have mainly used Dutch and Danish field sites.

Pathogenic fungi that attack ants are also collected in Panama (Metarhizium and Escovopsis associated with fungus-growing ants) and Denmark (Pandora associated with Formica host ants) and previously also in Thailand and Brazil (Ophiocordyceps associated with Camponotus host ants). Pseudoxylaria weeds of termite fungus gardens are collected in South Africa.