The center of my research is the evolution and maintenance of sociality, especially the form that is prevalent in all ants, termites, and many bees and wasps. Intracolonial communication of reproductive status of colony members is a central question. In my lab, we approach this question with behavioral assays, gas chromatography and most recently also with molecular tools. The newly available sequences of ant genomes help us to target specific genes involved in communication by using RNAi methodology. In collaboration with other groups, we also focus on the role of olfactory receptors, antennal lobes, and receptor specificity in order to better understand the ability of social insects to discriminate complex odor mixtures.