social insect integrative biology

kennesaw state university

Our Research

Research in the Penick lab focuses on the evolution and ecological success of social insects (ants, bees, wasps, and termites). Pound for pound, social insects and humans make up the largest animal biomass on dry land and occupy nearly every terrestrial ecosystem. To understand the traits that have facilitated this success, our research takes an integrative approach that combines techniques in ecology, physiology, behavior, and evolution. We work with a broad variety of species from ecosystems that range from remote tropical forests to the sidewalks of New York City.

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in the news

Lab News

  • Quanta Magazine features our glass sponge research

    An article in Quanta Magazine features our NASA-funded research on the structural properties of glass sponges:
  • Zach & Layne receive Mentor-Potégé award

    Zach Peagler and Layne Buttram receive $3,000 Mentor-Potégé award to support research on fire ant antimicrobials
  • Welcome new grads!

    Three new MS students are starting in the Penick Lab Fall 2020 to study honeycomb, urban pollinators, and ant evolution. Welcome to Grace Cope, Francis Mullan, and JP Hellenbrand!
  • Penick Lab receives $755k grant from NASA with ASU and PADT

    NASA Awards PADT, Arizona State University and Kennesaw State University a $755,000 Phase II STTR Research Grant to study honeycomb and other natural lattices to improve 3D-printing design
  • Recruiting MS students for Fall 2020

    The Penick lab is looking for MS students to start Fall 2020. Are you interested in social insect ecology and evolution? Contact me!


Kennesaw State University

370 Paulding Ave NW

Kennesaw, GA 30144

Lab: SC 350

Office: SC 324

©2020 Penick Lab