Department of Biological Sciences

Maintained by B. Wang
Last updated 2/7/13

 

Deby CassillDeby Lee Cassill
Biology

Associate Chair
Associate Professor, Ph.D., Florida State University, 1996
Email: Dr. Deby Cassill
Phone: (727) 873-4064 (O), or (727) 873-4832 (Lab)

The imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta , is a serious, invasive pest in Florida. Historically, control efforts have relied on pesticides that, at best, provide only temporary relief. Moreover, there is speculation that pesticides are partly responsible for the infestation of coastal counties in south and central Florida by the cooperative social form of fire ant. This is bad news because cooperative fire ant queens produce colonies at higher densities than competitive fire ant queens. To make matters worse, many infected areas cannot be treated with pesticides due to environmental sensitivity. These untreated areas produce the next generation of queens that re-colonize coastal counties. In this project, students will map south and central Florida—on an annual basis, coast to coast—to determine changes in the distribution of cooperative.

BBC Media: Sleeping Ants

Selected Publications

Hardisty, B.E. and D.L. Cassill 2010. Memes and the Ecological Niche. Biological Theory 5:1-3.

Hardisty, B.E. and D.L. Cassill. 2010. Extending eusociality to include vertebrate family units. Biology and Philosophy 25:437-440.

Allen, S. and D.L. Cassill 2010. Skew selection theory applied: The wealth and welfare of nations. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare 37:115-134.

Cassill, D.L. and A. Watkins. 2010. The emergence of cooperative hierarchies through natural selection processes. Journal of Bioeconomics (12) 29-42.  http://www.springerlink.com/openurl.asp?genre=article&id=doi:10.1007/s10818-010-9080-y

Cassill, D.L. and D. Singh. 2009. Ambidextrous mandibles in the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 102(4):713-716.

Cassill, D.L., Skye Brown, Devon Swick 2009. Polyphasic wake/sleep episodes in the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Journal of Insect Behavior 22:313-323.

Cassill, D.L., Kim Vo and B. Becker. 2008. Young fire ants feign death and survive aggressive neighbors. Naturwissenschaften  95:617-624.

Cassill, D.L. and S.B. Vinson. 2007. Effects of larval secretions on queen fecundity in the fire ant. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 100:327-332.

Cassill, D.L., I. Kuriachan and S.B. Vinson. 2007. A test of two skew models to explain cooperative breeding among unrelated individuals. Journal of Bioeconomics 9:19-37.

Cassill, D.L. and R.P. Hill 2007. A naturological approach to corporate governance: An extension of the Frederick model of corporation-community relations. Business and Society 46:286-303.

Cassill, D.L., A. Greco, R. Silwal and X.F. Wang. 2007. Opposable spines facilitate fine and gross object manipulation in fire ants. Naturwissenschaften 94: 326-332 (Online in 2006).

Cassill, D.L. and S.B. Vinson. 2007. Effects of larval secretions on queen fecundity in the fire ant. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 100: 327-332.

Cassill, D.L. 2006. Book Review of Geerat J. Vermeij. 2004. Nature: An Economic History (Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J. USA), Journal of Bioeconomics 8: 283-285 (Online).

Cassill, D.L. 2006. Why skew selection, a model of parental exploitation, should replace kin selection. Journal of Bioeconomics 8: 101-119 (Online).

Cassill, Deby L., James Butler, S. Bradleigh Vinson and Diana Wheeler 2005. Cooperation in prey digestion between workers and larvae in the ant, Pheidole spadonia. Insectes Sociaux 52:339-343.

Cassill, D.L. 2005. The social gene. Journal of Bioeconomics 7:73 – 84.

Cassill, D.L. and A. Watkins. 2004. Mogul games: In defense of inequality as an evolutionary strategy to cope with multiple agents of selection. In: Advances in Austrian Economics (Ed. R. Koppl). Kluwer Academic Publisher, Norwell, MA. 7:35-59.

Hill, R.P. and D.L. Cassill. 2004. The naturological view of the corporation and its social responsibility: An extension of the Frederick model of corporate-community relations. Business and Society Review 109:3 281-296.

Cassill, D.L. 2003. Skew selection: Nature favors a trickle-down distribution of resources in ants. Journal of Bioeconomics. 5:83-96. (Online)

Cassill, D.L. 2003. Rules of supply and demand regulate recruitment to food in the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 54:441-450.

Cassill, D.L. 2002. Yoyo-bang: A risk aversion investment strategy by a perennial insect society. Oecologia 132:150-158.

Cassill, D.L. 2002. Brood care strategies by newly-mated monogyne Solenopsis invicta queens during claustral colony founding (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 95:208-212.

Cassill, D.L ., W.R. Tschinkel and S. B. Vinson. 2002. Nest complexity, group size and brood rearing in the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta . Insectes Soc. 49:158-163.

Cassill, D.L. and W.R. Tschinkel. 2000. Behavioral and developmental homeostasis the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta . Journal of Insect Physiology 46:933-939.

Cassill, D.L. and W.R. Tschinkel. 1999. Task selection by workers of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 45:301-310.

Cassill, D.L. and W.R. Tschinkel. 1999. Regulation of diet in the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta . Journal of Insect Behavior 12:307-327.

Cassill, D.L. and W.R. Tschinkel. 1999. Effects of colony-level attributes on larval feeding in the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta . Insectes Sociaux 46:261-266.

Cassill, D.L ., A. Stuy and R. Buck. 1998. Emergent properties of food distribution among fire ant larvae. Journal of Theoretical Biology 195:371-381.

Cassill, D.L. and W.R. Tschinkel. 1996. A duration constant for worker-larva trophallaxis in fire ants. Insectes Sociaux 43:149-166.

Cassill, D.L. and W.R. Tschinkel. 1995. Allocation of liquid food to larvae via trophallaxis in colonies of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta . Animal Behaviour, 50:801-813.

Courses
BSC 2011 (Biology II: Diversity)
BSC 2035 (Sex and Today's World)
BSC 4057 (Environmental Issues)
BSC 4905 (Independent Study)
BSC 4910 (Undergraduate Research)
BSC 4933 and EVR 4930 (Experimental Design and Applied Statistics)
ZOO 4512 (Sociobiology)
ZOO 4513C (Animal Behavior)

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