Biologist Gunther Jansen will talk of ants at Arkadia on Wednesday 10.6 at 6pm

Dear friend of Arkadia,


You are warmly invited to join us for a talk on the evolution of social organisation in ants, entitled “Ants, plants and parasites: tales about societies, soldiers, farmers and cheaters”. The presentation will be conducted by Biologist Gunther Jansen on Wednesday 10.6 at 6pm.


Warm regards,





        Entrance is free and green tea will be served. A 2€ donation is suggested and would be welcome.

        You can also reach me via facebook.

I have an address under my name (“Ian Bourgeot”and I would gladly become your friend) and also a page under the bookshop’s name (“Arkadia Oy / international Bookshop / Helsinki and you could become a fan).



 Here are few words from Gunther, about the presentation and about himself:


I will take an approach from natural history, and illustrate how the study of these magnificent small creatures opens up a whole new world of bewildering diversity and amazingly complex behaviour. I will start by introducing the importance of these ubiquitous and omnipresent insects in every ecosystem of the world, followed by some examples of advanced ant behaviour. With a first glance into the daily life of eusocially organised ant colonies, I will try to explain how such complex behaviours and organisations could have arisen as a result of the rules of evolution and natural selection. Understanding the basic colony organisation, I would then like to draw attention to the phenomenon of social parasitism. In this kind of behaviour, some ants manage to cheat society, and use the resources provided by colonies of other species to produce offspring, without investing in the daily maintenance of the colony.


And then a word or two about myself. I am an evolutionary biologist at the University of Helsinki. I will defend my PhD on 26 June (thus two weeks after this talk) on the systematics of Myrmica ants and the evolution of their social parasites. I did my Master in Zoology at the University of Ghent in Belgium. At the same time I also did a Master at the Faculty of Psychology in Pedagogics, resulting in an Academic Teacher’s Degree (Master).  Then I went to Canada for a 3 month internship (morphological research at the Dpt of Fisheries and Oceans of the Federal Government of Canada/Hunstman Marine Institute), after which I studied a postgraduate program in Logic, History and Philosophy of Science (master after master) for one year (well half of which I did still did in distance from Finland). Finally, I came to Helsinki in April 2005 to start my Phd.