I am in charge of the technical part of the RoyalMess ERC project, which is based on an atypical reproductive system where the caste is genetically determined: social hybridogenesis. My main study model is the harvester ant of the genus Messor, which includes several species that practice this reproductive system.
In order to determine the prevalence of this system within this genus, I perform DNA extractions for the preparation of Illumina NGS libraries. I am also working with High throughput 3C technology and Oxford Nanopore technology for long reads sequencing.
Another aspect of this project is the study of genetic determinants of caste which leads me to work on RNA to identify the expression of these genes involved and then attempt an experimental approach including genome editing with CRISPR-Cas9 in order to manipulate caste development.
I am also involved in the maintenance and development of ant colonies.