"As social creatures, ants forage communally and must make foraging decisions that are not only good for themselves individually but also for their nest mates."

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Student Profile: Asim Renyard

Biological Sciences PhD Student in the Faculty of Science

April 26, 2021
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I was born and raised nearby to SFU in New Westminster, BC. Despite growing up in a city, outdoor hobbies have been my favourite passion for most of my life. I enjoy backcountry camping, hiking, fishing and gardening.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

During my undergrad (also at SFU) I tried out several research labs ranging from cell biology to marine ecology. During that time I worked as a summer student in what is now my current lab. I chose this lab because of the already very positive experience of working with my senior supervisor and lab in general plus having a project that aligned with my research interests.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?

My research is broken up into two parts. The first is I study how ants make foraging decisions for their nests. As social creatures, ants forage communally and must make foraging decisions that are not only good for themselves individually but also for their nest mates. The second part studies how ants communicate information to each other during group tasks, such as foraging and nest defense. I tackle this through laboratory behavioral experiments and field studies.

WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?

I enjoy the friendly and collaborative nature of my lab, where we all team up and pull together our various skill sets to complete projects. I also enjoy the friendly atmosphere of my department.

HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND A LITTLE ABOUT HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.

I was fortunate to receive an NSERC-CGSD. The financial support provided by the award has been very helpful in allowing me to focus on my studies.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PROGRAM/POSTDOC POSITION TO SOMEONE STILL SEARCHING FOR A PROGRAM OR POSTDOC POSITION?

If you are interested in insect communication systems then our lab is the place for you!

Contact Asim: asim_renyard@sfu.ca

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