Short CV/Education and training

  • 1989 – 1995
    Studied biology at the University of Würzburg, Germany

  • 1992 – 1993
    Studied biology at the State University of New York in Albany, USA (funded by a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) scholarship)

  • 1995 – 1998
    Doctoral studies at the University of Würzburg under the supervision of Prof. Hölldobler / Prof. Heinze

  • 1998 – 2000
    Postdoc at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, USA

  • 2000 – 2004
    C1 research associate under the Chair of Prof. Heinze (Biology I), University of Regensburg, Germany

  • 2003
    Appointed C3 professor of behavioural ecology at LMU Munich, Germany

  • 2004
    Habilitation (postdoctoral qualification) in zoology at the University of Regensburg

  • 2004 – 2010
    C3 professor of behavioural ecology in the Department of Biology II at LMU Munich

  • 2006 – 2010
    Director of the Evolution, Ecology and Systematics Graduate School at LMU

  • 2009 – 2010
    LMU spokesperson for the Erasmus Mundus Master Programme in Evolutionary Biology (MEME)

  • 2009
    Appointed W3 professor of evolutionary biology at Mainz University

  • Since 2010
    Chair in evolutionary biology, Institute of Zoology, Mainz University

Selected publications

  • Pamminger, T. et al.: Increased host aggression as an induced defence against slavemaking ants. In: Behavioural Ecology, in press.

  • Pohl, S., Foitzik, S.: Slave-making ants prefer larger, better defended host colonies. In: Animal Behaviour 81, 2011. pp. 61-68.

  • Foitzik, S. et al.: Alternative reproductive tactics and the influence of local competition on sex allocation in the ant Hypoponera opacior. In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 64, 2010. pp. 1641-1654.

  • Bauer, S. et al.: An ant social parasite in-between two chemical disparate host species. In: Evolutionary Ecology 24, 2010. pp. 317-332.

  • Foitzik, S. et al.: Genetic diversity, populations structure and sex-biased dispersal in three co-evolving species. In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22, 2009. pp. 2470-2480.

  • Foitzik, S., Achenbach, A., Brandt, M.: Locally-adapted social parasite affects density, social structure and life history of its ant hosts. In: Ecology 90, 2009. pp. 1195-1206.

  • Achenbach, A., Foitzik, S.: First evidence for slave rebellion: Enslaved ant workers systematically kill the brood of their social parasite Protomognathus americanus. In: Evolution 63, 2009. pp. 1068-1075.

  • Witte, V. et al.: Symbiont microcosm in an ant society and the diversity of interspecific interactions. In: Animal Behaviour 76, 2008. pp. 1477-1486.

  • Fischer-Blass, B., Heinze, J., Foitzik, S.: Microsatellite analysis reveals strong, but differential impact of a social parasite on its two host species. In: Molecular Ecology 15, 2006. pp. 638-872.

  • Foitzik, S. et al.: Coevolution in host-parasite systems: Behavioral strategies of slavemaking ants and their hosts. In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B, London 268, 2001. pp. 1139-1146.

  • Foitzik, S., Herbers, J.M.: Colony structure of a slavemaking ant: II. Frequency of slave raids and impact on the host population. In: Evolution 55, 2001. pp. 316-323.

Selected projects

  • The evolution of resistance and virulence in structured populations

  • The evolutionary significance of within- and between-colony variation in behaviour, morphology, genetic composition and immuno-competence in ants

  • Life history trade-offs in ant workers: the relationships between fertility, longevity, immunity and behavioural specialisation

  • Internal conflicts, dispersal and the consequences of inbreeding in an ant with alternative reproductive tactics

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Research Unit "Selection in structured populations"

  • Subject-matter editor, Insectes Sociaux

  • Executive committee of the Central European Section of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI)

Soft Skills/Other activities and achievements

Other activities and achievements/family

  • 2 children


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  1. Widespread Slave Rebellion in Ants

    Ants held as slaves by another ant species damage their oppressors with acts of sabotage. Ant researcher Prof. Susanne Foitzik of Mainz University, Germany, first observed this "slave rebellion" phenomenon in 2009.