Stig W. Omholt, Agricultural University of Norway, Department of Animal Science, P.O. Box 5025, 1432 AAS, NORWAYAfter having received my doctoral degree from the University of Oslo in theoretical biology that addressed various dynamic aspects of the honeybee society, I have the last 10 years engaged in two very different research programs. One is an experimental research program focused on providing a protocol base making the honeybee a real laboratory animal (flight room technology, egg sampling systems, cryopreservation of germ plasm, nuclear transplantation, intra-cytoplasmatic sperm injection, in vitro feeding, embryo cloning and genetic transformation). The other program has involved the development of a new mathematical framework for describing and analysing general complex dynamic systems with one or more steep sigmoidal effect-response regulatory relationship, use of this framework on concrete biological systems, and as a tool to build a conceptual bridge between regulatory biology and classical genetics. Realising that the social insects provide theoretical regulatory problems as good as any other model system, I have recently "come back to the bees" in theoretical terms. The current projects involve work on the hive bee to forager transition in honeybee colonies, the regulatory anatomy of honeybee lifespan, and conceptual issues related to social evolution in general. For me this Santa Fe initiative is a golden opportunity to stop pretending and start to do something serious on the theory of evolving complex systems with reference to a concrete real life system.
Selected recent publications:
SFI-Social Insect Page