Vince Formica
Principal Investigator
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Hannah Donald-Cannon

lab manager
hdonald1@swarthmore.edu

Hannah helps run both the field team when at Mountain Lake Biological Station and research lab at Swarthmore. She assists with both data collection and curation as well as research. In addition to maintaining the Formica lab database and sanity of lab members, she is broadly interested in entomology, education, and science outreach.

Kaylee Formica

managed lab

As the official Formica-lab lab, Kaylee is responsible for greeting all visitors, answering any calls, and is fully available to fetch anything for Dr. Formica. When not assisting the PI, Kaylee focuses her time on researching predator-prey interactions, specifically auditory cues that squirrels use to evade well hidden canines.

Each undergraduate in our lab develops and executes their own independent project. These projects result in posters, presentations, and published papers. 

 

Click on the pictures below to read more about our students' projects.

2017-2018

Marianne Lotter-Jones

Marianne Lotter-Jones

Marianne is continuing her research project from 2016. She is asking if male and female beetles alter behaviors after copulation.

Saadiq Garba

Saadiq Garba

Saadiq's second project is investigating the relationship between variables such as body size and sex with the average number same-sex and opposite-sex social partners in both large and small populations.

Julia Barbano

Julia Barbano

Julia is asking if the number of male and female social partners an individual has can predict its movement among host fungal brackets within the population.

Lily Fornof

Lily Fornof

Lily is investigating the relationship of habitat and behavior by looking into ecological factors such as the age, size, and species of the host fungi. She is currently asking if there are features of bracket resources that predict the probability of use, the number of observations, number of social interactions, and mating events.

Alexis Davis

Alexis Davis

Alexis is asking if activity in a lab behavioral assay correlates with behaviors observed in the wild.

Eliza Wainwright

Eliza Wainwright

Eliza is studying correlations between meteorological and temporal variables and the behavior of forked fungus beetles. She is currently looking at variables such as temperature, humidity, rainfall, and quanta of light in relation to the number of beetles present in a population, the number of mating pairs, the number of females laying, etc.

2016-2017

Zhazira Irgebay

Zhazira Irgebay

Zhazira worked on two projects. Her first project asked what the effect of social network position is on fitness in female social networks. Zhazira's second project investigated the effect of spatial scale on social network metric measurements.

David Tian

David Tian

David was interested in understanding non-linear and correlational selection on social network position and male weaponry.

Marianne Lotter-Jones

Marianne Lotter-Jones

Marianne studied changes in social behavior after copulation in both males and females.

Reena Debray

Reena Debray

Reena investigated if levels of activity and aggression are repeatable traits, and if these traits correlate to social network metrics.

Soumba Traore

Soumba Traore

Soumba investigated assortative mating for social network position in wild forked fungus beetles.

Saadiq Garba

Saadiq Garba

Annie and Saadiq helped with an experiment to measure the effect of temperature and protein on hatching and growth of beetle offspring.

Annie Abruzzo

Annie Abruzzo

Annie and Saadiq helped with an experiment to measure the effect of temperature and protein on hatching and growth of beetle offspring.

Robert Hwang

Robert Hwang

Robert asked if individuals alter their social network position over the course of a breeding season.

2015-2016

Hazel Galloway

Hazel Galloway

Hazel's second project explored if weather variables such as temperature and last day of rainfall can predict mating behavior and the number of social interactions.

Desta Pulley

Desta Pulley

Desta investigated if male body size predicted territorial-like behaviors in wild populations of forked fungus beetles.

Shelby found that there was no correlation between immune response and social network position.

Adam Kapilow

Adam Kapilow

Adam examined if morphological and social behaviors predict among-population migration during a breeding season.

2014-2015

Amanda Chan

Amanda Chan

Amanda's project determined that the host fungus-species of wild populations had no effect on beetle immune response.

Shelby Daniel-Wayman

Shelby Daniel-Wayman

Shelby's first project in our lab used experimental data to determine if beetles actively choose their social environments based on the body size of their social partners.

Shaina Lu

Shaina Lu

Shaina worked in our lab to finish a project on avian phylogenies she began as an REU at the Smithsonian.

Ian Grant

Ian Grant

Ian used wild forked fungus behavior to create an agent-based simulations of sexual selection in virtual forked fungus beetle populations.

Hazel Galloway

Hazel Galloway

Hazel's first project in our lab was to construct a field-based, time-lapse photography system of forked fungus beetles.

Phoebe Cook

Phoebe Cook

During her senior year, Phoebe worked on a project examining repeatability and resilience of individual network position.

Harris Hoke

Harris Hoke

Harris completed a project on the forked fungus beetle microbiome, comparing individuals from different host species of fungus.

Jonas Oppenheimer

Jonas Oppenheimer

Jonas's honors project demonstrated that a population crash during the winter of 2013-14 had no lasting effect on the genetic diversity of our study population.

2013-2014

Laura Katz

Laura Katz

Laura determined that the time interval of observation influenced the structure and individual position of beetle social networks.

Stephanie Carrera

Stephanie Carrera

Stephanie found that females who were courted more often were more likely to leave mating arenas, suggesting that courtship may be costly to females. However, none of the behaviors we measured predicted male movement.

Phoebe Cook

Phoebe Cook

Phoebe's first project in our lab revealed differences between the social network position of male and female beetles.

2012-2013

Rebecca Johnson

Rebecca Johnson

Rebecca worked on a preliminary project examining Bateman's gradient in forked fungus beetles.

Kyle Benowitz

Kyle Benowitz

Kyle determined that grip strength, leg size, and body size interact as part of an integrated suite of defensive combat traits.

Ray's project investigated the role of juvenile hormone in male-male aggression.

Ian found that male forked fungus beetles have strong and consistent preferences for larger females.

Vince Formica, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

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Swarthmore College
Department of Biology
500 College Ave
Swarthmore, PA 19081

(610) 328-8621

I live at Mountain Lake Biological Station during the late spring and summer. There is no cell reception so the best way to contact me from Mid-May to Mid-August is via email.

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