Welcome new MSc student: Jason Rissanen

After working in the group as an intern last year, I have returned this year as an MSc student in the ESB-group, working on my master’s thesis on self-medication behaviour in ants.

Ants have been previously shown to medicate themselves using reactive oxygen species (harmful compounds), to fight against an infection from a fungal pathogen in laboratory conditions. I’m trying to identify a natural way that ants could use to fight off infections, and whether they use them successfully when infected, by using a multitrophic experimental set-up that contains ants, plants, aphids and a fungal pathogen.

I’ve liked ants ever since I was a kid. The complexity of their behaviour and the organization of the colonies are very interesting and I am especially interested in the nature and outcomes of the interactions that ants have with other organisms of their environment.

e-mail: jason.rissanen@helsinki.fi