Mentor: Dr. James Keesling
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
"When I initially became involved in research at UF, it provided an opportunity to work hands-on in mathematics while continuing my major in engineering. Now that I have changed my major to math, research provides an outlet for original work which is not offered in the standard curriculum. By organizing my own research project, I have been able to pursue interesting questions in social entomology which interest me on a number of different levels."
- Insect Social Behavior
- Biomathematical Modeling
- Complex Systems in Biology
Hobbies and Interests
- Playing Guitar
Modeling Ant Pheromone Complex Response
Chemical communication is one of the primary methods by which insect communities coordinate their actions. In particular, the diffusion of volatile pheromones through the air allows an individual to broadcast information to many other individuals over a relatively large area. Many of these chemical signals are composed not of a single chemical compound but consist of a complex of multiple chemicals. Because the components’ diffuse at varying rates, they will become detectable at a given distance at different time intervals after their initial release. Together with the concentrations of the components at subsequent time intervals and spatial information about the diffusion pattern acquired by travelling a known path through it, a great deal of information about the original signal is encoded by the physical process of diffusion by the time it has reached a receiver. My project is to develop a mathematical model which can be used to determine the amount of this behaviorally relevant information which can be gleaned by an individual ant and the ramifications that this may have for the collective behavior of colonies. This research could provide exciting insight into the fields of social and behavioral entomology.