David Richard Nash
Ecology and Evolution
Universitetsparken 15, 2100 København Ø, Bygning 12, 1. sal
My research interests are primarily in the coevolution of interactions between organisms, ranging from mutualism to parasitism. I am particularly interested in how coevolution occurs around the border between cooperation and exploitation. Since raristy is often an outcome of these types of interaction, this has led me to become more and more interested in conservation issues.
Much of my research is on butterflies in the family Lycaenidae, which are one of the few groups that show the full range of symbiotic interactions in their associations with ants. I am currently studying specificity and communication between parasitic Phengaris butterflies and their Myrmica ant hosts in Denmark and Sweden, and ants that are social parasites of other ants both in Denmark and the neotropics. I have used Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry to examine the surface hydrocarbons of ants and their associates, as these are the signals that are used by the ants themselves to distinguish between friends and foes. I also use field surveys and population genetic techniques to investigate patterns of coevolution, as well as using community ecology at large and small scales. Behavioural experiments often form part of my dtudies, and next-generation sequencing techniques have allowed me to explore some of the genomic bases of interactions, as well as examining interactions with micro-organisms.
If you are interested in volunteering to help with some of my fieldwork, or in doing a bachelor or master project, please take a look at my projects page:
I am have coordinated the themes "Communication and recognition" and "social parasitism" for the Centre for Social Evolution.
Primary fields of research
Coevolution, Symbiosis, Evolutionary Ecology, Conservation Biology
I coordinate the courses "Conservation" (Bachelor level) and "Conservation Biology" (Masters' level). I also teach in the courses "Evolutionary Ecology" (Masters' level), "Experimental Design and Statistical methods in Biology" (Bachelor & Masters' level), "Invasion Biology" (Masters' level) and "Population Biology" (Bachelor level).
I also run a summer Ph.D. course on the "Taxonomy, Identification and Ecology of European Ants" approximately every second year, and contribute to another bi-yearly Ph.D. course on "Social Evolution".