Jes Søe Pedersen

Jes Søe Pedersen

Associate Professor

Current research

Social insects like ants, wasps and bees show a tremendous variation in how their colonies are organised. Some colonies have only a single reproducing female (queen) whereas in others several - even hundreds - of females are reproducing. Sometimes this variation in queen number occurs within the same species or within the same population. My primary research interest is how variation in queen number evolve and how natural selection can maintain systems with many queens, despite the fact that such polygyny lowers the relatedness of workers to the brood they are rearing. To answer these questions a combination of ecological, genetical, behavioural and chemical methods are applied. Current studies focus on so-called "hypersocial" ants having the ability to develop supercolonies of unrelated members and virtually unlimited size. Many of these species are invasive and include notorious pests such as the Argentine ant, the pharaoh's ant, the invasive garden ant, and the common red ant.

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Teaching Assignments

  • Compulsory BSc course in Population Biology (Populationsbiologi; bacheloruddannelsen i Biologi, 1. år, blok 2)
  • Compulsory BSc course in the Philosophy for Science for Biologists (Videnskabsteori for biologer; bacheloruddannelsen i Biologi, 2. år, blok 3)
  • MSc course in Advanced Ecology (Videregående Økologi; kandidatuddannelsen i Biologi, blok 4)
  • MSc course in Invasion Biology (Invasionsbiologi; kandidatuddannelsen i Biologi, blok 4)


Scientific Software

Moilanen, A., Sundström, L. & Pedersen, J.S. (2004) MateSoft: a program for genetic analysis of mating systems 1.0. Institute of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen. Available here.

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