With tales of giant Mafia ants, colonies of 22 million army ants and stingless bees who imprison virgin queens, Adam will explore these highly developed insect communities and mark the beginning of the Public Lecture Series, which will showcase of the university’s most interesting and innovative work.
The impact of Professor Hart’s research is undisputed, after national coverage of his work on animal personalities and his documentary Hive Alive, which aired in December 2014, were so well received by the public and experts alike. Adam also presented the BBC 4 documentary Planet Ant, which aired in August 2014 and reached 1.16 million people in the first week.
The quality of research from the School of Natural and Social Sciences has been celebrated recently, with a third rated “world leading” (4*) or “internationally excellent” (3*). The university’s submission in the area of Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology was rated by the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, which reviews research from all UK universities, and included Adam’s research into the behaviour of ant colonies.
Adam said: “Most insects live alone but some, such as ants and honeybees, live in the most spectacular societies, which can involve talking with smells and communicating with dance. Whether it is sister bees falling out with each other in spectacular style or fire ants making boats of their own bodies, these insect worlds are full of complex architecture and highly efficient agriculture and have much to teach us about nature.”
Adam studied Natural Sciences and has a PhD in social insect behaviour. His work on conflicts within the largest ant species in the world has taken him to Mexico, Brazil and Panama. Adam was awarded a personal chair in Science Communication in 2012.
Adam’s lecture will take place at 6pm on 21 January in Lecture Theatre TC014 at the university’s Park Campus in Cheltenham, with reception drinks at 5pm in Elwes Reception. To book your free place, please visit www.glos.ac.uk/research/Pages/PublicLectureSeries.aspx.