School of Ants has started in Australia with a project that uses an altitudinal gradient from Coffs Harbour at sea level to Bald Blair at 1330m ASL as a proxy for a change in climate.
In March-April 2014, students from 12 schools along this altitudinal gradient participated in the inaugural ant collections and experiments on food preferences of ants to determine changes in preference as you head west up the Great Dividing Range.
Ants had a choice between scotch finger biscuits, frankfurts and sugar water, and at this stage it’s looking like frankfurts are the clear winner.
Students from Armidale City Public School contributed to the project and had a day in the School of Ants at Thalgarrah Environmental Education Centre recently – see the newspaper clipping above.
They collected more than 15 species of ants at Thalgarrah as they immersed themselves in the experiment, collections, writing and games as citizen scientists. All declared they had learned a lot about the little black things at our feet that we take for granted every day.
We know there are more ant species out there, and that ants provide services like road kill clean up, soil aeration and pest management. Citizens are helping us learn about the patterns of these services and species in Australia via the School of Ants project through the University of New England.
The last weekend in February was full of brain exploding ideas, networking and contributions to citizen science projects for 40 participantsRead More
School of Ants has recently been exploring the ants of arid Australia, and sharing ant stories with those at the AliceRead More