The following is an excerpt from the November 20, 2015 edition of STRI News, published by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI):
Dr. Sabrina Amador, SI Postdoctoral Fellow with staff scientists Bill Wcislo and Bill Eberhard, received a prize this week for best young investigator in her field: the International Union for the Study of Social Insects-North American Section 2015 George C. Eickwort Student Research Award. Sabrina will receive a plaque and a $1000 honorarium.
For her postdoctoral project “Democracy dilemma: is it advantageous to have several individuals deciding about a solitary task?” Sabrina will ask whether conflicts that arise when more than one individual in an acacia ant colony vies to do a single task. Does conflict increase the accuracy or speed of the decision? Will the most proficient worker take over the task? Or will conflict lead to a delay resulting in a decrease in the overall efficiency of the colony?