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Dr Cintia Akemi Oi
Medawar Building (2nd floor)
Centre for Environment and Biodiversity (CBER)
UCL Department of Genetics Evolution & Environment
Dr Cintia Akemi Oi profile picture
  • Marie Curie Research Fellow
  • Genetics, Evolution & Environment
  • Div of Biosciences
  • Faculty of Life Sciences
I am a behavioral ecologist and an evolutionary biologist that uses social insects as models’ systems. I obtained my undergraduate and master's degree from the Federal University of São Carlos (Brazil) working with orchid bees. For my PhD, I moved to Belgium at KU Leuven to study the origin and evolution of queen pheromones in social wasps. Following my PhD, I continued at KU Leuven as a postdoc, understanding how hormones would affect chemical communication in insects. I was awarded a Marie Slodowska-Curie Fellowship in 2022 to come to UCL to work with Prof. Seirian Sumner.
Research Summary

I mainly focused my research on social wasps as model organisms, exploring chemical ecology and evolution of social organization. Now in my WASSUP project, I will investigate the molecular mechanisms of nesting behaviour in solitary digger wasps using genomics and transcriptomes. This project is developed in the WaspLab at CBER/GEE together with Prof. Seirian Sumner.

I have plenty of other scientific interests involving social insects. Other current projects I am participating, involve the study of parasitoids and pest control, genomics of hunting behavior in Neotropical solitary wasps, chemical ecology of swarm-founding wasps and evolution of caste plasticity and caste dimorphism in ants and bees. 

Teaching Summary

I have been teaching on undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as well as mentoring undergraduate, master and PhD students. I gave lectures in Brazil and Belgium. Some specific teaching in universities were: 

-2007: Teaching assistant “Systematics of plants”, University of São Carlos (Brazil)

-2011-2012: CAPES Fellowship for Tutor activities and e-learning, UAB-UFSCAR (Brazil)

-2018: “Social Insects”, Post-graduate course at the Department of Entomology at the University of São Paulo, together with Prof. Fabio Nascimento (Brazil) and Prof. Christopher Gruter.

-2018: Teaching assistant at “Ethology and Behavioral Ecology (G0G32A), KU Leuven (Belgium)

-2019 to 2021: Practical assistant “Advanced Data analysis” (G0F87A), KU Leuven (Belgium)

-2019 to 2021: Teaching assistant at “Behavioral and Advanced Ecology: Field course” (G0W35A), KU Leuven (Belgium)

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