Michael Breed

Michael Breed, Professor in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, received his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in 1977. His research interests include the social behavior in insects, the kin recognition system of honey bees, nest defense in honey bees, and social biology of the giant tropical ant. Kin recognition studies are designed to examine the various factors – queen, workers, nesting material, and food – that go into recognition of nestmates, to demonstrate how these factors are integrated, their fitness outcomes, and their genetic basis. Nest defense is an interesting but relatively unexplored issue in honey bee biology. Studies have focused on the role of the guard bees in initiating defense responses. The giant tropical ant is a good model for the adaptation of a social insect to its environment. These studies, conducted in Costa Rica, have dealt with division of labor and recruitment. Professor Breed’s research has been published in a variety of field journals.