PhD student/Postdoctoral Researcher (2009-2015)

IST Austria
Am Campus 1
A-3400 Klosterneuburg

Tel: +43 2243 9000 3403
email: Matthias.konrad (AT)

Lab publications


Social immune priming in garden ants

In my PhD/postdoctoral-project I study the effects of collective disease defences (social immunity) on disease spread in insect societies and how the interaction between sick and healthy nestmates affects the immune system of group members. I use the ant Lasius neglectus as host species and various entomopathogenic fungi (e.g. Metarhizium anisopliae) as pathogens.

My main research interest lies in understanding "social immune priming" namely that social contact to a pathogen-exposed individual can prime an ant’s immune system and therefore affect its immune response upon future own challenges with a pathogen. Currently, we only know that this phenomenon exists but do not yet know its underlying mechanisms as well as its adaptive aspects for colony-level disease defence. I study both levels to understand changes in individual immunity of group members of diseased individuals, as well as disease dynamics within colonies.


2014-current      Postdoctoral Researcher, IST Austria, Austria

2009-2013          PhD thesis

                                  since 2010 IST Austria, Austria
                                  2009-10 University of Regensburg, Germany

2009                    Diploma in Biology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany


2004-2009           Studies in Biology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany