How does pheromone communication evolve?

This simple but unresolved question and its importance in the process of speciation are central to my research work. I am especially interested in the sensory biology, neurophysiology, chemical ecology, and olfactory memory  involved in pheromone communication and the underlying molecular mechanisms through which these evolve. My study organisms of choice are the charismatic orchid bees, known for their unique “perfume collecting” behavior, during which males collect volatile chemical substances from their environment. The accumulated ‘perfume blend’ is eventually released in order to attract conspecific mates.

Learn more about my research here.

I am currently working with Santiago Ramirez at the Center for Population Biology at UC Davis as a PhD candidate in the PopBio Graduate Group (Cohort of 2013/2014).



Philipp Brand
PhD Candidate
Department for Evolution and Ecology
UC Davis
One Shields Avenue
95616 Davis, CA


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