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 Maximillian Tercel

Maximillian Tercel

Research student, School of Biosciences

Overview

I'm an entomologist using DNA metabarcoding techniques to reveal how invasive ants fit into ecological communities. We can use these powerful molecular methods as tools to inform conservation and show fundamental ecological and evolutionary principles working in reality.


Though I've studied and worked on many different invertebrate groups, I specialise in ants. These social insects are integral to tropical ecosystems, have a vast diversity of forms, and the most complex societies of any organism other than humans. Not only that, but they fulfill a myriad of different ecological roles, from soil-movers, to predators, parasites, granivores and fungus-farmers. 


I earned my BSc (Hons.) in Zoology from Bangor University and then went on to study for my MSc in Entomology at Harper Adams University.

Research

Thesis

ALIEN ANTS: INVADERS OF A TROPICAL ISLAND FOOD WEB IN THE INDIAN OCEAN

The main aim of my PhD project is to determine the diet and invasion ecology of introduced ants on Round Island, Mauritius. By using dietary DNA metabarcoding, we can show how invasive ants fit into the native community of Round Island - a site of global significance to biodiversity conservation. Ants are often ecologically dominant social insects, interacting with a vast array of species, and introduced ants can be highly damaging. My thesis aims to answer a range of questions relating to the ecology of introduced ants as well as the wider Round Island ecosystem.

Funding source

NERC GW4+ and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

Supervisors

Publications

2021

2018