The evolution of cognition in wasps
Mentor: Professor Elizabeth Tibbetts
The cognitive abilities of animals vary widely across species and there is much interest in what accounts for this variation. Two potential factors may influence cognitive abilities: 1) the natural history and behavior of a species or 2) the evolutionary history of a species. The REU student will be involved in testing the cognitive abilities of paper wasps through training. The student will answer specific questions about the capabilities of wasps. In addition, by comparing cognition across different wasp species, the student will be able to test why species differ in their abilities. The work will involve some field work in Michigan as well as laboratory work on the Ann Arbor campus.