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LISA HANNA
PhD CANDIDATE

e-mail: lisa.hanna@mail.mcgill.ca

I received my MSc at Wayne State University (Michigan, USA) in the summer of 2019. During my MSc research, I focused on the developmental and genetic basis behind insect morphological diversity utilizing the milkweed bug (Oncopeltus fasciatus) as a study model.
 

The culmination of the training and expertise I acquired during my MSc motivated me to continue in the area of biological research and pursue a doctorate degree. Specifically, training in the field of evolutionary development, in addition to my interest in ecology and desire of incorporating an interdisciplinary approach to research, led me to join the Abouheif Lab at McGill University for my PhD training.

I formally joined the Abouheif Lab in the fall of 2019. I am eager to delve into exploring the developmental, evolutionary, and ecological factors that contributed to the formation and advancement of social organization in ants. For my specific research project, I will be examining the developmental mechanisms that led to the origin of a wingless worker caste by using early-branching ant lineages. Wing polyphenism, where a single genome gives rise to either winged queens or wingless workers in response to environmental cues, marks one of the early and key events that led to the transition from solitary to social living. Investigating the mechanisms behind this transition will help to elucidate how other biological complex systems originated and their subsequent elaboration.