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Interview with a Scientist

Taylor Hart

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Taylor was born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA and currently lives in New York City. She received her BA in biology and has worked since then as a PhD student in the Laboratory of Social Evolution and Behavior at Rockefeller University. 


Her thesis work began with developing methods for generating new varieties of genetically modified ants. These ants produce fluorescent proteins in specific cells in their bodies, and she uses them to study the function of the ant's nervous systems as well as to understand the division of labor within ant colonies.


Taylor is deeply interested in education, communicating science to the public, and the interface of arts and science. She has co-developed and taught several courses in biological science with the RockEdu Science Outreach program at Rockefeller. She also makes visual art and co-created an award-winning short film through the Imagine Science Film Festival Symbiosis Competition in 2019.

Watch the video of Interview with Taylor Hart


The following is a list of original sources of papers that Taylor discussed in the interview video:

A. Farji-Brener and M. Tadey. "Trash to treasure: leaf-cutting ants repair nest-mound damage by recycling refuse dump materials." 2021 Behavioral Ecology.


A. Fernandez, M. Tadey, and A. Farji-Brener. "Refuse attracts? Effect of refuse dumps of leaf-cutting ants on floral traits." 2018 Austral Ecology.


A. Hart and F. Ratnieks. "Task partitioning, division of labour and nest compartmentalisation collectively isolate hazardous waste in the leafcutting ant Atta cephalotes." 2001 Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.


S. Verza, E. Diniz, M. Chiarelli, R. Mussury, and O. Bueno. "Waste of leaf-cutting ants: disposal, nest structure, and abiotic soil factors around internal waste chambers." 2017 acta ethologica.

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