Ana Ješovnik, SI Pre-Doctoral Fellow, Hymenoptera
Evolutionary biology, taxonomy, phylogeny and natural history of ants.
- Taxonomy and phylogeny of the fungus growing ant genus Sericomyrmex, using both morphological and molecular approaches.
- Diversity of ants of Papua New Guinea and Melanesia (Principal Investigator: Milan Janda, http://www.newguineants.org/
- Inventory and ecology studies of Croatian ant fauna, with Croatian Myrmecological society (www.mirmekolozi.wordpress.com).
The Croatian Myrmecological Society is an NGO founded in December of 2007, in Zagreb, Croatia. Its primary goals are researching biodiversity of Croatian ant fauna and the awakening of public awareness for the importance of ants in the stability of Earth's ecosystems. It was founded by, at the time, 3 biology students who were simply enthusiastic about ants. After realizing that in Croatia there is not a single biologist working on any aspect of myrmecology they decided to change that by conducting biodiversity and ecology studies of ants all over Croatia, and at the same time spreading the word abut their importance - equally to the fellow biologist and to the broader public.
To date, we have finished inventory projects for three Croatian protected areas, with the results published in a compendium of interdisciplinary research. We also established an official collection of Croatian ants, something that didn’t exist until now. Also, we got involved in two ecological research projects – the first a comparison study of ants from different types of wetlands, which resulted in a poster presented at the Copenhagen IUSSI meeting in 2010 (“Ant diversity in Croatian peat bogs”). We have managed to establish a wonderful collaboration with Milan Janda, helping him with leaf-litter sample processing of New Guinea ants, which gave us insight into the remarkable tropical ant fauna. Our members attended the Ant course in 2008 (Venezuela) and 2009 (Arizona), and 3 European meetings: Hungary in 2008, Germany in 2009 and Denmark in 2010. In accordance with the Croatian Myrmecological Society’s secondary goal we have designed and printed promotional material, held plenty of educational workshops, published a cover article in a Croatian popular-scientific magazine, given an interview for a daily newspaper, and appeared twice on national television.
Grants & Awards:
- Cosmos Club Scholar 2013
- Goldhaber Travel Grant 2013
- Entomological Society of America: Student travel grant 2013
- Ernst Mayr Travel Grant in Animal Systematics 2012
- Explorers Club Washington: Exploration and Field Research Grant 2012
Branstetter, M.G., Ješovnik, A., Sosa-Calvo, J., Lloyd, M.W., Faircloth, B.C., Brady, S.G., and Schultz, T.R. 2017. Dry habitats were crucibles of domestication in the evolution of agriculture in ants. Proceedings of the Royal Society, B. 284: 20170095. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2017.0095
Ješovnik A, Sosa-Calvo J, Lloyd M, Branstetter M, Fernandez F & Schultz TR (2016): Phylogenomic species delimitation and host-symbiont coevolution in the fungus-farming ant genus Sericomyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Ultraconserved elements (UCEs) resolve a recent radiation. Systematic Entomology.
Sosa-Calvo J, Ješovnik A, Lopes C, Rodrigues A, Rabeling C, Bacci M Jr, Vasconcelos HL & Schultz TR (2017): Biology of the relict fungus-farming ant Apterostigma megacephala Lattke, including descriptions of the male, gyne, and larva. Insectes Sociaux. Link: http://rdcu.be/pHEX
Ješovnik A, González VL, Schultz TR (2016) Phylogenomics and Divergence Dating of Fungus-Farming Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Genera Sericomyrmex and Apterostigma. PLoS ONE 11(7): e0151059. doi:10.1371/journal. pone.0151059
Jesovnik, A., Sosa-Calvo, J.; Lopes, C., Vasconcelos, H., Schultz, T. R. 2013. Nest architecture, fungus gardens, queen, males and larvae of the fungus-growing ant Mycetagroicus inflatus Brandão & Mayhé-Nunes. Insectes Sociaux 60(4): 531-542.
Jesovnik, A., Bujan, J. & Bracko, G. 2011. One genus and three species of ants (Hymenoptera : Formicidae) new for Croatia. Entomologica Croatica 15: 113-122.
Seric Jelaska, L., Jesovnik, A., Jelaska, S. D, Kucinic, M., Durbesic, P. & Pirnat, A. 2010. Variations of carabid beetle and ant assemblages, and their morpho-ecological traits within natural temperate forests in Medvednica Nature Park. Journal of Croatia Forestry Society: Sumarski list 9-10: 475-486.
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