Svjetlana Kruse

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Research interests

Research Expertise: 
Host-parasite interactions | Gut microbiome | Social insects

I am interested in understanding a range of symbiotic interactions, from pathogens to beneficial gut microbes. I integrate approaches from microbiology, epidemiology, functional genomics, and behavior in social insect model systems to study these interactions. Social insects live in large societies, much like human society, in which thousands of highly genetically related individuals interact in close proximity, putting them at high risk for disease outbreaks. Consequently, honey bees and most ants have evolved different mechanisms of disease resistance such as: individual innate immune responses; collective colony-level immune response known as social immunity; and immune response generated by beneficial 
symbionts (e.g., mutualistic microbes) found in/on individuals. I am investigating the honey bee diversity and function of gut microbiome; co-evolution and interactions of mutualistic bacteria and pathogenic fungi and the effect they have on bee immunity and behavior. By using social insect networks I am investigating pathogen spread and social immunity within the ant Temnothorax curvispinosus.

Member of:
Entomological Society of America (
International Union for the Study of Social Insects (
Society for Invertebrate Pathology (
Society for the Study of Evolution (
Animal Behavior Society (

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Science, Master

Doctor of Philosophy, doctorate, University of Copenhagen


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