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Welcome to the Jandt Social Insect Lab

University of Otago, Department of Zoology

Department Faculty Page


Research in the Jandt Lab focuses on the study of social behavior, personality, and ecology in social insects (bees, wasps and ants). The University of Otago and the Department of Zoology offer a variety of opportunities to apply for funding. Click on the "Research" tab above for more information on Current Research in the Jandt Lab and/or suggestions on Potential Postgraduate Research Projects. If you are interested in joining the lab but aren't keen to investigate the suggested topics, please don't hesitate to suggest other ideas that you are interested in too!


ZOOL 112: Animal Biology

  • Animal Behaviour

ZOOL 314: Neurobiology

  • Insect Neuro-Ecology
  • Environmental Stressors Influence Learning
  • Self-organization
  • Collective decision-making in social insects

ZOOL 315: Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology

  • Social Behavior
  • Social Insects
  • Animal Communication

ZOOL 411: Evaluating Trends and Controversies in Ecology & Evolution

  • Bias in Science?
  • Politics of Publishing

ZOOL 422: Advanced Topics in Animal Behaviour

  • Evolution of Eusociality

What's the Buzz?

Check back periodically for the latest bee, wasp, and ant news. There are a few fun links on my Wasp Love page, and you can follow me on Twitter @TheWaspLady. Bees, wasps, and ants might be known for their sting and for being a nuisance, but they can do a number of really cool things too.

  • A Citizen Science Wasp Survey in the UK. Dr. Seirian Sumner and Dr. Adam Hart are collecting data collected by citizens throughout the U.K. in order to map the distribution of social wasps throughout the counry. Check out this article that discusses the ecological role of wasps, and read more about The Big Wasp Survey.
  • Yes - there is evidence that wasp venom can combat cancer cells. A recent study showed that venom from a tropical paper wasp (Polyba paulista) will attack cancer cells, but leave normal cells alone, because they are attacking specific properties of the cancer cell membrane. Read more about the study here, and check out a useful video posted to Facebook on the topic here.
  • Wasps are the reason we have figs. This article in the New Yorker describes how fig wasps and figs have co-evolved an obligate plant-pollinator relationship, and how figs could be considered a keystone species.
  • We should celebrate wasps! Seirian Sumner (@WaspWoman) and Ryan Brock wrote a great article in defense of wasps, where they discuss a variety of ways in which wasps can be beneficial to people. #wasplove

Live Twitter Feed

Contact Info

E-mail (preferred):

Phone (office): +64 3 479 7608

Address (postal): P.O. Box 56, Dunedin 9054

Address (Street): 340 Great King Street, Dunedin 9016

Jennifer M. Jandt
Last updated 31 August, 2016