[Brian Fisher and Corrie Moreau demonstrate Winkler sifting as a method for collecting ants. Kibale Forest, Uganda]
August is a seminal time for ant scientists. Every year for over a decade, 30 students and an assemblage of professional myrmecologists gather to learn about, and celebrate the diversity of, the world's most dominant insects. Part course, part mini-conference, part research expedition, the Ant Course has become a focal event for myrmecologists around the world.
2012 marks the course's first African installment. Some of the AntWeb team is now on site at Makerere University Field Station in Kibale National Park, Uganda, surrounded by monkeys, giant tropical trees, and a staggering diversity of insects. Wilderness isn't all the group is enjoying, however. Through the miracle of a cell phone modem, Ant Course finds itself with internet in the forest.
[Tetramorium aculeatum-group ants foraging along a tree trunk. Kibale Forest, Uganda]
What does this connectivity mean?
For the first time ever we'll be blogging the Ant Course as it happens. Course participants will contribute observations, photographs, anecdotes, and updates from the field. Stay tuned to this space!
Ant Course Outreach Coordinator