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Volker Nehring, PhD

Volker Nehring, PhD

Volker Nehring, PhD

University of Freiburg
Biology I, Evolution & Ecology

Hauptstraße 1, Room 1039
D-79104 Freiburg

Phone. ++49/761/203-2584
E-Mail: Volker.Nehring@biologie.uni-freiburg.de





Research interests

I am an Evolutionary Biologist studying host-parasite co-evolution, social evolution, and communication in arthropods.
Organizing even the smallest social groups demands fine-tuned communication to ensure concerted action. I examine the evolution of chemical communication systems in social contexts using examples from nestmate recognition (“who am I cooperating with?”) and fertility signaling (“who gets to reproduce?”) in ants and termites. My current model system for studying coevolution are phoretic mites (Poecilochirus carabi complex) and their hosts, burying beetles (genus Nicrophorus). Please find more information about current projects on my website.

Short CV

  • since 2012 assistant professor, University of Freiburg
  • 2011 PhD, University of Copenhagen
  • 2007 Diploma in Biology, University of Freiburg



  • Larsen, J., Fouks, B., Bos, N., d’Ettorre, P., Nehring, V. (2014):  Variation in nestmate recognition ability among polymorphic leaf-cutting ant workers. J. Insect Physiol. 70, 59–66. doi:10.1016/j.jinsphys.2014.09.002 (PDF)
  • Nehring, V., Wyatt, T. D., & d’Ettorre, P. (2013): Noise in chemical communication. In H. Brumm (Ed.), Animal Communication and Noise (pp. 373–405). New York: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-41494-7_13
  • Nehring, V., Boomsma, J.J. & d’Ettorre, P. (2012): Wingless virgin queens assume helper roles in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants. Curr. Biol. 22: R671-R673. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2012.06.038 (PDF)
  • Fouks, B., d’Ettorre, P. & Nehring, V. (2011): Brood adoption in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior: Adaptation or recognition noise? Insect. Soc. 58: 479-485. doi: 10.1007/s00040-011-0167-9. (PDF)
  • Nehring, V., Evison, S.E.F., Santorelli, L.A., d’Ettorre, P. & Hughes, W.O.H. (2011): Kin-informative recognition cues in ants. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 278: 1942-1948. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2010.2295 (PDF)
  • Nehring, V., Müller, J.K. (2009): Social environment affects the life history tactic of a phoretic mite. J. Evol. Biol. 22: 1616-1623. doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2009.01771.x.
  • Guerrieri, F. J., Nehring, V., Jørgensen, C. G., Nielsen, J., Galizia, C. G. & d’Ettorre, P. (2009): Ants recognize foes and not friends. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 276: 2461-2468. doi: 1.10.1098/rspb.2008.1860. (PDF)


Fighting Camponotus workers

Poecilochirus necrophori mite
Fighting Camponotus workersPoecilochirus necrophori mite




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