In this manuscript Anna Dornhaus, Min Shin and I tested the hypothesis that risk-tolerance should be correlated with life history strategy. Individual with a slower life-history should be less risk-tolerant, as they have ‘more to lose’, fitness wise, if they are injured or die earlier in life. Alternatively, individuals with fast life histories should be more risk-tolerant so as to procure the resources needed to maximize their early reproductive effort. Using ants, which allow us to easily quantify somatic vs. reproductive effort with workers vs. alates, we found that life-history and risk-taking were indeed correlated but also varied between populations. This is an exciting result that further emphasizes our need to study behavior holistically to truly understand how and why variation exists.

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  2. Gordon Snelling says:

    Really great start Sarah, I look forward to seeing more from you and your lab.

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