By Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE - Fungus-growing Termites (Macrotermes carbonarius), CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40231177

Termite mound-mates create even more questions for scientists

To celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month the Museum is sharing the stories of 27 inspirational women, alongside the animals they work with the most.

Dr Amelia Hood

Department of Zoology

Millie holding a termite queen. "Sausages like this produce all the workers in the mound, which can mean millions of eggs in her lifetime. Rather her than me."
Millie holding a termite queen.

I’m an ecologist who loves social insects. For my PhD, I worked in oil palm plantations in Indonesia and studied ants and termites. There is one termite species, Macrotermes gilvus, that is very common there. They build huge mounds, sometimes over 2m tall!

One of my projects was to investigate what lives in these mounds. We found pythons, cobras, tarantulas, scorpions and many rare species nesting inside. These species may be using the mounds because they are cooler or cleaner (termites disinfect their nests) than outside, but no one has tested this yet. There are so many questions left for scientists to investigate!”

Discover more about why biodiversity matters here: Biodiversity Week: our solutions are in nature.

Find out more about research collaborations with the oil palm industry on the BEFTA site or follow them on Twitter: @BEFTAprogramme


An equal world is an enabled world.
#IWD2020  #EachforEqual

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