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The Secret Societies of Ants
Ant societies are fascinating examples of organization, but the coevolution of an ant society with a plant involved new task demands on the colony. In our April Earth Optimism Webinar, tropical biologist Sabrina Amador Vargas will take you inside the world of acacia ants and the acacia trees they depend on for survival. She’ll reveal how this mutualistic tree-insect relationship has shaped the behavior of acacia ants and the plant morphology. She’ll also highlight how these obligate relationships promote innovative behaviors in other organisms interacting with the ant-acacia mutualism.

This webinar will be recorded! Closed captioning will be available on both the live event and on the recording. By signing up on Zoom, you’ll be able to join live and receive a link to the recording approximately one week after it airs.

Apr 18, 2023 07:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

* Required information
Registrants must be 18 or over (if you are under 18, your parent or legal guardian must register for you).

This program offers Q&As, chats, or polls; any participation in these is voluntary. Those choosing to participate are responsible for not sharing anything they would not want public, and only sharing content that is theirs and available for use by the Smithsonian as described below (for example, don’t share someone else’s copyrighted material or personal info). Civility is expected, and the Smithsonian may remove those whose participation does not comply with its Rules of Conduct (https://www.si.edu/termsofuse).

The Smithsonian has the right to copy, modify, publicly share, and otherwise use the recording it makes of the event in whole or in part, in any media now known or later developed; registrants waive any claim to payment or consultation. The Smithsonian is not required to use or retain the recording, which will be archived or disposed of according to its record retention and archiving policies and practices. Registrants release and hold harmless the Smithsonian, its agents, staff and volunteers, from all claims, actions and demands arising from their participation in this recorded event and use of the recording.


Sabrina Amador
Tropical Biologist @Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Sabrina Amador is a tropical biologist with broad interests in behavioral ecology. She is trained in animal behavior and evolution from UT Austin, with a strong background in ecology and natural history from Universidad de Costa Rica. Her research focuses on acacia ants in the dry forest of Costa Rica and Panama. She is fascinated by understanding behaviors triggered by obligate mutualistic interactions between ants, plants, and third organisms. A strong affinity for framing natural history observations in a broader context is the inspiration for most of her projects.