Robert E. Page,
Jr., Professor and Chair, Department
of Entomology, University of California, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616
How do complex insect societies
evolve? This is the focus of my research program. In order to answer this question we need to better understand the organization of behavior at the gene, neuron,
nervous system, whole animal physiology, individual behavior, and social unit.
We also must understand the population and evolutionary genetics of organism we
study. This is a daunting task, but "doable" with teams of collaborators. With
my collaborators, we have studied the foraging behavior of honey bees at all of
these levels of organization. We have successfully demonstrated how substitutions
of alleles at variable quantitative trait loci affect the neural system of honey
bees resulting in specific changes in foraging behavior and colony-level phenotypes.
Selected recent publications:
- Page, R. E. 1997. The evolution of insect societies. Endeavour 21: 114-120.
- Page, R. E., J. Erber, and M. K. Fondrk. 1998. The effect of genotype on
response thresholds to sucrose and foraging behavior of honey bees (Apis mellifera
L.). Journal of Comparative Physiology A 182: 489-500.
- Pankiw, T. and R. E. Page. 2000. Response thresholds to sucrose predict
foraging division of labor in honeybees. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
- Page, R. E., M. K. Fondrk, G. J. Hunt, E. Guzmán-Novoa, M. A. Humphries,
K. Nguyen, and A. S. Green. In press. Genetic dissection of honeybee (Apis
mellifera L.) foraging behavior. Journal of Heredity.
- Scheiner, R., R. E. Page, and J. Erber. In press. Responsiveness to sucrose
affects tactile and olfactory learning in preforaging honey bees of two genetic
strains. Behavioural Brain Research.
- Scheiner, R., R. E. Page, and J. Erber. In press. The effects of genotype,
foraging role and sucrose responsiveness on the tactile learning performance
of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Neurobiology of Learning and Memory.