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Digging Up Knowledge from Tropical Forest Floors

Posted on Sep 22, 2020 by in The OFI Blog |


Dumas digging up a nest of Ectatomma ruidum. Photo credit: Jorge Alemán, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

As a postdoctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Dumas Gálvez has been studying ants (Ectatomma ruidum) and whether colonies inhabiting contrasting environments in the neotropics differ in their resistance to certain fungal pathogens. Click here to read more about Dumas’ process behind collecting and studying ant colonies 50 cm below ground.


Dumas Gálvez studied Biology with a focus in Animal Biology from the University in Panama in 2005. During this time, Dumas was involved with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, where he worked with plants and agouties as an intern and research assistant. Later on, he went to The Netherlands in 2009, where he completed a masters in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Groningen. Dumas’ master’s thesis was on behavior of agouties related to seed dispersal in Barro Colorado Island in Panama (2008). In 2014, Dumas finished a doctorate in Ecology and Evolution at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland), working on ants and their interaction with pathogens. After, 9 years in Europe, he came back to Panama in 2016, working as an adjunct researcher at INDICASAT AIP and special professor at the Entomology Master Program at the University of Panama. In 2019, Dumas started a postdoctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute with the project titled ‘Environmental disturbance and its effect on the immune competence of an insect’. Dumas also received an extension for one year through the Secretary Distinguished Fellowship from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.