You will find on this page the events in which the members of our laboratory participate and their last publications:


Breaking News


IUSSI European Congress in Lausanne (Switzerland)

European IUSSI 2024 will be held at the University of Lausanne.
Claire DETRAIN and Romain WILLEPUT will attend the congress.

More information following the link:


La 52ème édition du Colloque de la Société Française pour l’Etude du Comportement Animal


At the conference, Romain Willeput presented a poster entitled: “Phénomènes compensatoires aux défenses individuelles face à une infection fongique chez la fourmi Lasius flavus.”

More information following the link:



Tournage RTL pour l’émission “Eureka”

Tournage pour l’émission « Eureka » afin de mieux faire connaitre les recherches soutenues par le FNRS.

La question du jour : « les fourmis pensent-elles aux autres ? »

Diffusion prévue en septembre sur RTL


Un tout grand merci à l’équipe de production et au FNRS pour ces capsules vidéo sur le monde la recherche en Belgique.
A voir sur RTL-play:




New Publications

Detrain C. and Leclerc J.B.

“Spatial distancing by fungus-exposed Myrmica ants is prompted by sickness rather than contagiousness”

Journal of Insect Physiology 139: 104384 (2022)

“Claire Detrain, Directrice de recherches FNRS au sein du Service d’écologie sociale de l’ULB – Université libre de Bruxelles est co-autrice d’une nouvelle publication portant sur l’observation du « sickness syndrome » chez les inverstébrés.”

More information following this link.




Recent Events



XIX IUSSI International Congress

2022, San Diego, California, USA

Social organisms have a large impact on the environment because groups act at scales beyond individuals. We live in a society and rely on social insects to pollinate our food, and we fight social insects that decimate our resources. The purpose of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI) is to promote and encourage the study of social insects and other social organisms in the broadest sense and across the world. This includes both research and the dissemination of knowledge about social insects.

During these meeting, Claire Detrain, Quentin Avanzi, Oscar Vaes and Margaux Jossart will present their work.

More information following the link:



Past Events

Biodiversity in a rapidly changing world

Biodiversity 2022 conference: Biodiversity in a rapidly changing world.

2022, UCLouvain, Belgium

The Ecology & Biodiversity Section of the Earth & Life Institute of UCLouvain (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium) organizes a two-day conference about trends, problems and solutions for biodiversity-issues in our human-dominated world. The conference will present a selection of basic and applied biodiversity-related issues.”

During these meeting, Margaux Jossart will present her work, see below.

“Facultative endosymbiont, a guest in the multitrophic system plant-aphid-ant'”

More information following the link:

Benelux Congress of Zoology

Diversity of model organisms and model organisms from diversity.

2022 (postponed), KUL, Belgium

“This year we will explore the zoological diversity (…) specifically, the congress will also welcome all contributions from the field of Zoology, from the molecule to the biosphere.”

During these meeting, Margaux Jossart will present her work, see below.

“Facultative endosymbiont, a valuable guest in the multitrophic system ‘plant-aphid-ant-parasitoid'”

More information following the link:


42èmes journées des Entomophagistes.

8-10 nov. 2021, Rennes (France)

These meetings focused on biology, ecology and evolution of entomophagous organisms, not only predatory insects and parasitoids, but also a wider variety of insect-consuming organisms.

During these meetings, our laboratory’s members and collaborators presented their work, see below.

  1. Avanzi Q., Detrain C., “Balance entre stratégie de tolerance et de resistance à un entomopathogène généraliste chez la fourmi Myrmica rubra.”
  2. Pereira H., Detrain C., “Does a contaminated environment prevent the ant Myrmica rubra from scavenging dead insects?”
  3. Gellhand de Merxem B., Jossart M., Renoz F., Detrain C., Hance T., “Impact of cascading effects linked to symbionts.”
  4. Gardin P., Hance T., Detrain C., “Les relations entre les pucerons et les fourmis : du mutualisme à l’antagonisme. Dysaphis plantaginea / Lasius niger : Quelle type de symbiose ?”

More information following the link:

Look, on Myrmecological News blog, there is an interview of Hugo Pereira about Waste management in Myrmica rubra:

Look, on, Claire Detrain is talking about the anthill and how complex its organisation is:

Look, they talk about Hugo Pereira’s work in Octobre 2019

FNRS magazine 1-1

  • 19th Insect Biology Conferences 2019: June 26th – 28th – Albi – France

The Insect Biology Conferences are national symposia held in France every 4 years (2010: Lyon, 2013: Montpellier, 2016: Tours) and aimed at researchers of all levels interested in insects.

The purpose of these symposia is to allow insect working teams to share and discuss their research questions, approaches and results. These are generalist colloquia in which work is presented that is relevant to both basic and applied research. Very different aspects of the biology of the insect can be addressed. The active participation of young researchers (doctoral and post-doctoral students) is favored by attractive registration prizes.

– Claire Derain and Hugo Pereira presented their work.

– The SEF Award for Best Oral Communication was awarded to:

Hugo PEREIRA (University of Brussels, Belgium) for his paper entitled “Impact of the pathogenicity of the fungus Metarhizium brunneum and the presence of the brood on the management of waste in the ant Myrmica rubra)”

More information following the link:


  • SFECA 2019: June 11th-14th  –  Lille – France

Co-organized by 3 institutions of higher education and research, the 2019 congress of the French Society for the Study of Animal Behavior will be held in Lille, in the Hauts de France.

For this edition, the ISA Lille (establishment of Yncréa Hauts de France), engineering school in agriculture, food, environment and landscape, the FGES (faculty of the Catholic University of Lille) and the University of Lille are associated to offer a rich and eclectic program. This congress will also be an opportunity to discover Lille and its surroundings.

– Organization of the session “Individual, group and society” by C. Detrain and C. Devigne

-Hugo Pereira received the prize of the “Best Oral Communication”

More information following the link:


    • IUSSI-SF 2019: March 19th-22nd  –  IST Klosterneuburg – Austria

    The Central European Meeting of the IUSSI 2019 will take place at IST Austria (Institute of Science and Technology) in Klosterneuburg (near Vienna)

    Members of the USE will discuss their respective work:

    – Hugo Pereira

    – Claire Detrain

    More information following the link:

  • IUSSI-SF 2018: August 05th – 10th  –  Guarujà – Brazil

This is the next congress of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects.

The Brazilian Section of the IUSSI invites you to join us at the Union’s 18th Congress in Guarujá, a médium-sized city on the coast of São Paulo State. The conference will be held during the period of August 05-10, 2018 in the Convention Center of the Casa Grande Hotel. Members of the USE will discuss their respective work:

– Collignon, B., Detrain, C. & Mondada, F. :”Division of labor applied to cooperative foraging by robots and ants”

– Detrain, C. & Leclercq J.B. : “Impact of Ant colony Size on Sanitary Strategies and Waste Management”

– Lehue, M. & Detrain, C. : “Consequences of an additional nest entrance on foraging dynamics in ants” 

AbstractAbstract Marine Lehue

More information following the link: 


  • 70th International Symposium on Crop Protection: 22nd May 2018 – Ghent – Belgium

– Blanchard, S. , Detrain, C. , Lognay, G. & Verheggen, F. : “Impact of carbon dioxide concentration on the plant-aphid-natural enemies relationship”

  • SFECA 2018:  19th – 21st June  –  Rennes – France

The annual conference of the SFECA will take place in Rennes and we will celebrate on this occasion the 50th anniversary of the society. On the occasion of this anniversary, the congress will begin with a history tracing the actions and evolution of the SFECA through key moments.

Members of our lab presented their work:

– Collignon, B., Detrain, C. & Mondada, F. :”Récolte de nourriture et coopération fourmis-robots” – “Food harvesting and ant-robot cooperation”

– Vaes, O. & Detrain, C. :”Influence de la topologie du nid sur l’organisation spatiale de la fourmilière” – “Influence of the nest topology on the spatial organization of the anthill”

– Lehue, M. & Detrain, C. : “Impact de l’addition d’une entrée sur le transfert d’information entre l’intérieur et l’extérieur du nid chez la fourmi Myrmica Rubra” – “Impact of the addition of an entry on the information transfer between the inside and the outside of the nest in the Ant Myrmica Rubra”

– Pereira, H. : “Influence de l’état infectieux d’une proie sur la récolte de nourriture chez Myrmica rubra ” – “Influence of infective status of prey on food harvest in Myrmica rubra”

More information following the link:

  • ECE 2018:  2nd – 6th July  –  Naples – Italy

The Società Entomologica Italiana and of the Accademia Nazionale Italiana di Entomology will welcome the XI European Congress of Entomology in Naples. Entomology has a long-standing and consolidated tradition in Italy. Our national scientific community is honoured for this exciting opportunity to celebrate Entomology in Europe.

On this occasion, three members of our lab presented their work:

Detrain, C. & Leclercq J.B. : “Fungus-contaminated Soil and Nesting structures in ant societies”

– Blanchard, S. , Bouillis, A., Detrain, C. , Lognay, G. & Verheggen, F. : “Elevated CO2 concentrations impact the semiochemistry of aphid honeydew without cascade effect on an aphid predator”

– Perreira, H. : “Scavenging behaviour by ants depends on the prey infectiousness”

AbstractAbstract Hugo Pereira_bis

More information following the link:

  • UEIS 2017 – August 2017 – Museum d’Histoire Naturelles – Paris – France

– Detrain, C. & Leclercq, J.B. : “Influence du facteur démographique sur la gestion des risques sanitaires chez la fourmi Myrmica rubra” –  “Influence of the demographic factor on the management of health risks in the Ant Myrmica rubra”

– Lehue, M. & Detrain, C. :” Influence du nombre d’entrées de la fourmilière sur l’exploration et le recrutement alimentaire chez la fourmi Myrmica rubra” – “Influence of the number of anthill entries on exploration and food recruitment in Ant Myrmica rubra”

– Collignon, B. & Detrain, C.

  • Behaviour 2017 – International Conference of Ethology – August 2017 – Estoril – Portugal

– Detrain, C., & Leclercq J.B. : “Prophylaxis thorough reduced mobility and loss of attraction for social cues in ants”

– Lehue, M. & Detrain, C. : “What’s going on at the entrance? Influence of the number of nest entrances on the foraging behaviour of ant workers”

– Collignon, B. , Detrain, C. & Mondada, F. : “The ant colony: a swarm of biosensors”

  • SFECA 2017 – May 2017 – Gif-sur-Yvette – France

– Collignon, B. , Detrain, C. & Mondada, F. : “A simple sensor to monitor animal activity”

– Pereira, H. , Fourcassié, V. & Detrain, C. : “Profils comportementaux et spécialisation fonctionnelle lors de l’exploitation de ressources alimentaires chez la fourmi Lasius niger” – “Behavioral profiles and functional specialization during the exploitation of food resources at the ant Lasius niger”

– Lehue, M., & Detrain, C. : “Influence de l’interface entre le nid et l’environnement sur l’exploitation de ressources alimentaires chez la fourmi Myrmica rubra” – “Influence of the interface between the nest and the environment on the exploitation of food resources in the ant Myrmica rubra”

– Detrain, C. & Leclercq J.B., : “Isolement social des fourmis Myrmica rubra infectées par le champignon entomopathogène Metarhizium brunneum” – “Social isolation of Myrmica rubra ants infected with the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum”

  • 69th International Symposium on Crop Protection – May 2017 – Ghent – Belgium 

– Blanchard, S. , Detrain, C. , Lognay, G. & Vergheggen, F. : “Climate change: impact on plant-aphid-ant interactions”

  • Prize André Schaak – Faculty of Science

This Prize is instituted by the mother of Andrée SCHAAK in memory of her daughter, a graduate in biology, who died in 1975. The purpose of this annual prize is to award a prize to the most deserving student ( e) promotion of MA2 in biological sciences (specialization: animal biology). The student must adhere to the principle of free examination. It was awarded in 2017 to: Mr. Oscar VAES.

  • Ma thèse en 180 secondes

How to reduce queues? The ants compromise

Marine Lehue presented his thesis work in a vulgarized way,  during the national competition inter-university “My thesis in 180 seconds” May 23, 2017 at the Catholic University of Louvain.

You can see the video following this link:  My thesis in 180 seconds

  • Exposcience

Our Spring Science stand was selected by InforSciences to be presented at the Exposcience on April 28 and 29, 2017

  • Spring of Sciences

Stand co framed by Marine Lehue and Bertrand Collignon

The “Interactive Anthill” presented during the Spring of Science (March 20-26, 2017) by the students of the 3rd year of the Bachelor course BIOL-F-314: Research and scientific communication (on the picture:Léa Katz and Antoine Dumortier , two of the five students in the group):

The aim of the project was to learn how to use scientific concepts and use creativity and various tools (laser cutting, illustrator software, Indesign) to interact with the public. The students created and an interactive anthill using the knowledge acquired at the beginning of the chapter on ants. The advantage of this anthill is that it allows to answer several simple scientific questions about ants.

The anthill consists of three parts: the nest, an intermediate area and the forage area. These three areas can be modified to carry out several types of experiments, for example on ant preference. In addition, the anthill is connected to a camera in order to observe the reactions of the ants more and more closely and to record videos. Finally, buttons were used to view experiments carried out in the laboratory on the anthill. Around the anthill, the students created posters and informative activities on ants and their collective behavior.