Menu Close

International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI 2019)


Welcome to the Central European Meeting of the IUSSI 2019 !

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

CE IUSSI 2019 Conference & Social Immunity Workshop: 

Tuesday, 19 March – Friday, 22 March 2019 


2019 Conference of the Central European Section of the IUSSI (International Union for the Study of Social Insects)


The CE IUSSI conference is a biannual meeting aiming to bring together researchers interested in the ecology and evolution of social insects. More information can be found on the society´s web page.

The local host of the 2019 meeting are Sylvia Cremer (IST Austria) and her Social Immunity Team.     



We offer a workshop on Social Immunity, which will introduce the concept of collective disease defense in social insects, show methods for the study of disease and insect immunity and give hands-on insight into experimental work of ant-pathogen interactions.

The workshop is aimed mostly for PhD and postdoctoral level and will involve discussion rounds and a visit to the Social immunity laboratory at IST Austria

March 22

  • 09:00 Introduction – Sylvia Cremer
  • 10:00 Break
  • 10:30 Demo & Hands on experimental work (5 Stations) 
  • 13:00 Lunch & Departure

Stations (3x25min, 5-6 people per station):

  1. Microinjections in ants
  2. Antimicrobial growth inhibition assay
  3. Collection of ant fluids
  4. Pathogen handling
  5. Exposure of ants with video analysis


NO_Hinein ins Leben_logo
NO_Wissenschaft Forschung_logo

Important Dates

Registration & Payment Deadlines:

until December 15, 2018

Abstract Submission Deadline:

until December 15, 2018

Hotel Booking Deadline: 

Hotels are prebooked – kindly check the deadlines on our “Accommodation” site

Organizing Committee

he conference is the biannual meeting of the Central European section of the IUSSI.


Prof. Sylvia Cremer, IST Austria

with support team:

Dr. Barbara Milutinovic (Postdoc)

Dr. Megan Kutzer  (Postdoc)

Dr. Erika Dawson (Postdoc)

Sina Metzler (PhD Student)

Anna Franschitz (PhD Student)

Barbara Casillas-Perez (PhD Student)

Max Aubry (PhD Student)

Elisabeth Naderlinger (Technician)

Niklas Kampleitner (Technician)


Invited speakers are:

Adria LeBoeuf, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Topic: The super-organism’s circulatory system

Nathalie Stroeymeyt, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
Topic: Social network plasticity decreases disease transmission in the ant Lasius niger

Lukas Schrader, University of Münster, Germany
Topic:Why social insect genomes are interesting

Marla Spivak, University of Minnesota, USA
Topic:Honey Bee Social Immunity

Program & Poster Sessions


Tuesday, March 19th 2019

13:30 Registration & Welcome Coffee

14:25 Conference Welcome – Sylvia Cremer

Chair: Sylvia Cremer
14:30 Invited Speaker: – Adria LeBoeuf: “The social circulatory system: who, why and how it can change lives (of social insects)”
15:30 Tim Gernat: “Reduced trophallactic activity and limited disease transmission in response to virus infection in automatically monitored honeybee colonies”
15:45 Enikő Csata: “Collective abilities in ants facing complex nutritional challenges”

16:00 Break

Chair: Adria LeBoeuf
16:30 Eva Schultner: “Of nest defenders and beggars: the role of larvae in ant societies”
16:45 Abel Bernadou: “Role of nutrition on the longevity/fecundity trade-off in a clonal ant”‘
17:00 Anissa Kennedy: “Reproductive activation in honey bee workers protects against abiotic and biotic stress”
17:15 Julia Giehr: “Substantial direct fitness gains of workers in Temnothorax ants”

17:30 IUSSI Meeting
18:30 Dinner at Cafeteria
19:30 Poster Session 1
21:00 Bus Departure

Wednesday, March 20th 2019

08:55 Organsational Update – Sylvia Cremer 

Chair: Sylvia Cremer 
09:00 Invited Speaker – Lukas Schrader: “The molecular bases of ants”
10:00 Tobias van Elst: “Ultraconserved elements help to resolve evolutionary relationships across several time scales in the honey ant genus Myrmecocystus”
10:15 Ann Kathrin Huylmans: “Sex chromosome evolution in termites with different social complexities”

10:30 Break

Chair: Lukas Schrader
11:00 Martin Quque: “Task specialization in the black garden ant (Lasius niger) leads to three distinct proteomes”
11:15 Marah Stoldt: “Ant behaviour and brain gene expression of defending hosts depend on the ecological success of the intruding social parasite”
11:30 Tomasz Włodarczyk : “Chemical strategy in a faculative slave-making ant species”
11:45 Victoria Moris: “How to find genes involved in cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) biosynthesis in Hymenoptera? Insights from an extraordinary case of intrasexual CHC profile dimorphism in a mason wasp”
12:00 Florian Menzel: “Coping with the climate: How ants change their cuticular hydrocarbons in response to climatic conditions”
12:15 Anton Stabentheiner: “Effect of climate on nest thermoregulation in social wasps (Polistes)”

12:30 Group Photo
12:45 Lunch

Chair: Claire Detrain
13:30 Jürgen Gadau: “Queen number – a labile trait in ants”
13:45 Romain Libbrecht: “Factors and mechanisms underlying changes in queen nursing behavior during colony foundation in ants”
14:00 Uli Ernst: “Conflicts about reproduction and worker production in californian harvester ants, Pogonomyrmex californicus
14:15 Christopher Pull: “How well does memory predict bumblebee foraging efficiency across varying ecological conditions? 
14:30 Flavio Roces: “Learning through the waste: olfactory cues from the colony refuse determine plant preferences in foraging leaf-cutting ants”

14:45 Bus Departure to Vienna
16:00 Natural History Museum Vienna, Guided Tour
18:30 Dinner at Melk Stiftskeller, Vienna

Thursday, March 21st 2019

08:55 Organsational Update – Sylvia Cremer 

Chair: Sylvia Cremer
09:00 Invited Speaker – Nathalie Stroeymeyt: “Social network plasticity decreases disease transmission in the ant Lasius niger
10:00 Barbara Casillas Perez: “The dynamics of sanitary care in ants”‘
10:15 Giacomo Alciatore: “Group composition affects individual behavior and social interactions in a clonal ant”

10:30 Break

Chair: Nathalie Stroeymeyt
11:00 Simon Tragust: “The influence of the honey bee gut microbiome on viral infection and virulence”
11:15 Matteo Negroni: “Experimental immune challenge drastically reduces gut microbiome diversity and triggers fertility-dependent changes in gene expression in the ant Temnothorax rugatulus
11:30 Dalial Freitak: “Vaccination a’la honeybees”
11:45 Lena Wilfert: “Sharing is caring: community dynamics of bee viromes”
12:00 Delphine Panziera: “Virus prevalence across sympatric field samples of Apis mellifera and Bombus species
12:15 Erik Frank: “Injuries and wound care in the neotropical army ant Eciton rapax

12:45 Lunch at Cafeteria

Chair: Marla Spivak 
13:30 Claire Detrain: “Soil contamination and digging patterns in ants”
13:45 Hugo Pereira: “Sanitary risks associated to prey foraging and scavenging behaviour by Myrmica rubra ants”
14:00 Dino McMahon: “Infection stage and pathogen life cycle determine collective termite behaviour”
14:15 Balint Marko: “Could division of labour be influenced by a parasitic fungus in ants?”
14:30 Luca Pietro Casacci: “Factors influencing the evolution of vibroacoustic signals in Myrmicinae ants”
14:45 Kathrin Krausa: “Forager vibes activate nestmates”

15:00 Poster Session 2

16:30 Break

Chair: Sylvia Cremer
17:00 Anja Holzinger: “Eco-evolutionary dynamics and population structure of the invasive ant Anoplolepis gracilipes in Queensland, Australia: genetical, behavioral and morphological differences”
17:15 Jon Andreja Nuotclà: “The significance of mutualist complementarity for the evolution of ambrosia beetle sociality”
17:30 Invited Speaker – Marla Spivak: “Honey Bee Social Immunity”

18:30 Walk to
19:00 Closing Dinner at Redlinger Hütte with Student Awards (Kutter Prize)
21:30 Bus Departure

Friday, March 22nd 2019 – Social Immunity Workshop

09:00 Introduction Sylvia Cremer 
10:00 Break
10:30 Demo and Hands on experimental work 
13:00 Lunch & Departure


March 19th
01 Yeisson Gutiérrez: “Growth and survival of the superorganism: ant colony macronutrient intake and investment”
02 Cigdem Ün: “Wolbachia-induced cytoplasmic incompatibility in Cardiocondyla obscurior”
03 Daniela Römer: “Possible mechanisms of leaf-fragment size determination in leaf-cutting ants”
04 Patrick Krapf: “Colony-specific behaviour in an Alpine ant species”
05 Sara Leonhardt: “Linking senses and nutrition in pollen collecting bumblebees”
06 Helmut Käfer: “Nest orientation of two paper wasp species, Polistes gallicus and Polistes biglumis”
07 Helmut Kovac: “The thermoregulatory behaviour of foraging Polistine wasps (Polistes dominula and Polistes gallicus) at different climate conditions”
08 Anton Stabentheiner: “Respiratory metabolism of Formica pratensis ants in a variable thermal environment”
09 Michael Grevé: “Direct and indirect effects of land-use intensification on ant communities in temperate grasslands”
10 Mathilde Vidal: “Royal matchmaking: ant workers promote outbreeding by their sexual sisters by transporting them to alien nests”
11 Tobias Weichselgartner: “Caste determination in Cardiocondyla obscurior”
12 Ioan Tausan: “Impact of goldenrod invasion (Solidago canadensis) on ant assemblages (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from urban habitats in southern Transylvania (Romania)”
13 Andreia Teixeira: “Reversal of the fecundity-longevity trade-off across the spectrum of sociality in the bees”
14 Anja Buttstedt: “How to save the life of the prospective honey bee queen with royal jelly”
15 Stephanie Wendt: “Dinner for one: ants prefer to eat alone”
16 Massimo De Agrò: “Irrational risk aversion in ants is driven by perceptual mechanisms”
17 Felix Oberhauser: “Meat ants cut more trail shortcuts when facing long detours “
18 Gema Trigos-Peral: “Facing an invasion competing with an outstanding competitor: Lasius neglectus vs Linepithema humile”
19 Felix Hager: “Bodyguard ants track down mammalian browsers by exploiting vibrational cues”
20 Alexandra Koch: “Voluntary switching in an invertebrate: The effect of cue and reward change”
21 Sławomir Mitrus: “Nest modification by acorn ants”
22 Piotr Ślipiński: “The effect of worker’s development temperature on the personality variation among workers within ant colony?”
23 Marina Choppin: “Alternative reproductive strategies are associated with distinct queen and worker size in the ant Temnothorax rugatulus “
24 Mehdi Khadraoui: “Ecological drivers of social behaviours in Coleoptera”

March 21st
25 Claudia Gstöttl: “Comparative transcriptome analysis of five phenotypes of a slave-making ant (Temnothorax americanus) and its host (T. longispinosus)”
26 Alice Séguret: “How the queen manages to stay young: transcriptomic signatures of ageing in social versus solitary bees”
27 Miles Winter: “Heat Shock Protein 90-dependent phenotypic variation in an invasive ant “
28 Friederike Wolff: “Genetic analyses of the populations structure and dispersal dynamics of the ant species Formica fuscocinerea”
29 Oleg Lewkowski: “Transcriptomic analysis of European foulbrood-diseased honey bee larvae”
30 Marina Psalti: “Consistency and proximate mechanisms of genetic effects on behavior in ants”
31 Milene Ferro: “Daceton armigerum – the first transcriptome for subtribe Dacetina ants”
32 Barbara Feldmeyer: “Population genomic structure of two mutualistic ant-species across French Guiana”
33 Janina Diehl: “The effect of ambrosia beetle presence on fungus garden communities”
34 Max Aubry: “Give the brush-off to pathogens – the antenna cleaner of ants”
35 Diane Bigot: “Visualisation of recombination in Deformed wing virus infecting bees”
36 Igor Siedlecki: “Overlooked fungal associates of European red wood ants? – Mycobiota of Formica polyctena”
37 Christina Tilgen: “Comparative analysis of formic acid ingestion behavior in Formicine ants”
38 Sina Metzler: “Social immunization: its mechanisms and effects on individual protection”
39 Anja Tehel: “Experimental infection of bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) with DWV and BQCV”
40 Barbara Milutinovic: “Social interactions modify pathogen success in multiple infections “
41 Jonathan Kidner: “The impact of recombination on viral evolution in honeybee hosts”
42 Ágota Szabó: “Factors behind the diversity of fungal communities in Myrmica scabrinodis”
43 Daniel Schläppi: “Differential pesticide loads between castes of black garden ants”
44 Megan Kutzer: “Compensating for pathogen-induced losses: colony-level disease resilience in ants”
45 Katharina Krizan: “Do antimicrobials play a role in the symbiosis between Azteca ants and Cecropia plants?”
46 Silvio Erler: “Following the food flow – colourful dyes as suitable method of food labelling”
47 Linda Sartoris: “Does nest structure affect pathogen transmission in ants?
48 Florian  Strahodinsky: “How to fight a worm? Defences against nematode infections in ants “



We accept abstracts for both contributed talks and posters. Please indicate your preferred contribution type with abstract submission. 

Oral presentation

Contributed talks should last 12 min  and will have additional 3 min for discussion. 

Please note that due to schedule constraints we may need to make a final decision on the type of presentation we can offer, as talk slots may be limited.

Poster Session and Poster Format 

Please bring your posters in portrait format A0 (84,1 cm x 118,9 cm or 33.1 inches x 46.8 inches). You will find your respective location and number on a map displayed at the conference venue.


Registration has closed

Abstract Submission

Abstract submission has closed


Pre-booked Hotels

PLEASE NOTE: You need to book your own accommodation. However, if you need any help please don’t hesitate to contact us:  Sandra Sandrovac (, +43 2243 9000 1069) 

Hotels are pre-booked – kindly check the deadlines for each hotel. Remember to announce that you are a participant of the conference by using the “IUSSI19” code.

Info and Directions

Raiffeisen Lecture Hall, Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria)

Am Campus 1, A – 3400 Klosterneuburg, Austria

(*my GPS does not find the address )

GPS coordinates:   48° 18′ 32.31” N     16° 15′ 27.79” E

 * If your navigation system does not list this address, please type in the old address “Hauptstrasse 2, A- 3400 Maria Gugging” instead.

The campus of IST Austria is located in Klosterneuburg, a historical town to the northwest of Vienna. The campus lies only 18 km away from the center of Vienna.

Getting to / from IST Austria

Institute of Science and Technology Austria is located in Maria Gugging, Klosterneuburg, about 40 minutes from Vienna downtown.

There will be a special meeting bus picking up participants and going to IST Austria each day in the morning and returning after the meeting talks.

Both the IST Shuttle (Bus 142) and the Bus 400 stop in front of the Institute (stop Maria Gugging – IST Austria) and travel to the subway stop Heiligenstadt on line U4 (see subway map). The trip takes about 25 minutes. To get to IST Austria or Klosterneuburg on March 19 take bus 142 or 400 from Vienna. From Klosterneuburg (see detailed map of Klosterneuburg city) you can take the same buses.

For directions by car, please follow this link.

Getting to / from the Airport (VIE)

By public transport, the best option is to:

  1. Take the CAT train directly from the VIE airport to Landstrasse-Wien Mitte U4 station (16 minutes with no intermediate stops, 11 EUR one way / 19 EUR return, service every 30 minutes, the well-marked stop is immediately outside the airport arrivals hall, green ticket machines are in the baggage claim and at the CAT train station).
  2. Take U4 direction Heiligenstadt to the last stop (Heiligenstadt) after getting a regular on-way ticket for 2,40 EUR.
  3. Take IST Shuttle bus (Bus 142), Bus 400 or the taxi from Heiligenstadt to IST.  Buses 400 starts from the location immediately outside of the subway station, where as the IST Shuttle bus on the right side across the street. Tickets for Bus 400 can be bought on the bus.

The IST shuttle bus schedule can be found here; the whole trip from IST to Vienna Airport should take about 1 hour. If you take the CAT train for your departure flight, you can check in your luggage directly at the CAT train terminal at Wien Mitte.

Public transport in Vienna

The public transit system connects to the Federal Railways (local S-bahn and long distance trains) and to the Vienna Airport. The same single-fare ticket is valid for all means of transport in the city zone and permits changes. U4 stop Heiligenstadt is the last stop within the city zone (separate fare is needed for Bus 400). Other kinds of tickets (e.g. day tickets, useful for exploring Vienna) are also available from the ticket machines. U-bahn runs very frequently (3-5 minutes during daytime), from 5am until 20 minutes past midnight, but throughout the night on Fridays and Saturdays and before public holidays.


It is possible to take a cab from IST to Heiligenstadt, Vienna downtown or the airport (best to have cash ready, ATM is in the institute lobby):

  • Taxi Danzinger (+43 2243 202 20, +43 676 666 50 66, about 55 EUR to the airport)
  • Taxi Glueck (+43 2243 361 11, +43 664 224 88 20, about 55 EUR to the airport)
  • ask at the IST Reception for help with other transport options

You can take a cab from the airport directly to IST, but be sure to have the full address of the Institute at hand (IST Austria, Am Campus 1, 3400 Maria Gugging-Klosterneuburg). If their GPS does not have this new address yet, try Hauptstrasse 2, 3400 Maria Gugging-Klosterneuburg.



Academic Contact

Sylvia Cremer

General contact

Agnieszka Rowinska

Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria)
Am Campus 1
3400 Klosterneuburg