Southeastern's Science on Tap presents lecture on fungal farming in ants


Thursday, April 19, 2018 
by: Tonya Lowentritt 

     HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University’s Assistant Professor of Biology April Wright will present the next Science on Tap presentation titled “Farmers Below Our Feet: How Ants Use Fungus to Shape Ecosystems.”
     Wright will discuss the natural history of fungal farming in ants, as well as how modern statistical tools have made it possible to understand the evolution of their behavior.
     Sponsored by the Department of Biological Sciences, the presentation is scheduled May 1, at 7 p.m. at Tope La Catering, 113 East Thomas St. in Hammond, and is free and open to all ages. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with food and beverages available for purchase.
     “Farming is one of the most conspicuous ways in which humans have altered the natural environment. But did you know that we are not the only species to farm for our food?” asked Wright. “Ants have been farming fungal crops for food for millions of years before any human ever picked up a rake. Unlike us, ants perform the majority of their farming under the Earth’s surface in specialized chambers, tending enormous fungal gardens right below our feet.”
     For information on this or future Science on Tap presentations, contact the Department of Biological Sciences at 985-549-3740.

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