Prof. Guy Bloch
My research interests are the evolution and mechanisms underlying sociality and social behavior, I study bees as a model. The notable ecological success of social insects such as bees is largely attributed to advantages associated with sociality. Bee social organization is astonishing; thousands of individuals coordinate their activities to achieve efficient division of labor, food gathering, and complex migratory (swarming) ventures. In spite of their relatively small and simple nervous system, bees show complex social behavior, elaborated learning and memory capacities, sophisticated navigation skills, and in the case of the honey bee, also a symbolic (dance) language. The availability of the genome sequences of several bee species sets the stage for studying the intricate behavior of bees in molecular terms. Sociality is not only a puzzling proximate enigma, but also an ongoing evolutionary mystery. I am specifically interested in understanding how an insect with a solitary life style was transformed to life in advanced colonial existence with social modulation of almost every aspect of its behavior and physiology.