SEIRIAN SUMNER is a Senior Lecturer in Behavioural Biology in the School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol. Her research focuses on the evolution of sociality—how eusociality evolves and how social behavior is maintained. Seirian Sumner is a research fellow in evolutionary biology at the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London. She has a B.Sc. in zoology (1995) and a Ph.D. in behavioral ecology and evolution (1999) from University College London and worked at the University of Copenhagen and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama before settling at the Institute of Zoology in 2004. She has held a succession of research fellowships, including most recently the L’Oréal for Women in Science Fellowship.
Sumner’s research focuses on the evolution of sociality—how eusociality evolves and how social behavior is maintained. She has worked with a variety of bees, wasps, and ants from around the world, studying their behavior through observation, experimental manipulation, and molecular analyses, including gene expression. She is especially interested in the origins of sociality and the role of the genome in this major evolutionary transition.