The Insects and Humans of Emory's Evolutionary Ecology Labs

In late 2009 we visited two labs at Emory University in Atlanta where scientists research evolutionary ecology. Now we bring you behind the labcoats, taking you inside the spaces where scientists study parasites and bugs - and occasionally even relax.

The labs are headed by Dr. Nicole Gerardo and Dr. Jaap de Roode. The Gerardo Lab focuses on the evolutionary ecology of microbial host-parasite interactions, through the analysis of aphids, fungus growing ants, monarch butterflies and their microbes. The de Roode Lab studies the ecology and evolution of parasites, using butterflies and rodent malaria.

This is part of an ongoing io9 project to look at laboratories, and the spaces associated with them. If you'd like to volunteer your lab for a visit, email tips@io9.com, with the subject line "lab visit."

Click on an image to read more about it.

Aphids

View gallery »

The Greenhouse

View gallery »

Butterflies

View gallery »

Ants

View gallery »

The Communal Spaces

View gallery »

We'd like to thank Seth Barribeau, for helping organize this essay, and Nicole Gerardo and Jaap de Roode for allowing it.