Prof. Christian W. W. Pirk

PhD Entomology, Rhodes University

Staatsexamen (MSc equivalent) in Biology & Mathematics, Technical University of Berlin, Germany




Office: 3-28, First floor, Zoology Building

Phone: +27 (0)12 420-4616

Email: [email protected]

Researcher ID: E-4180-2010

Behavioural, chemical and evolutionary ecology of social insects

Fields of interest include behavioural, chemical and molecular ecology of insects, as well as population genetics and dynamics - The reproductive division of labour in social insects, especially honeybees and the resulting potential conflicts among members of an insect colony and how these conflicts are solved. - The organisation of groups, mechanisms of coordination and task allocation and the role and means of communication in achieving coherent collective behaviour. - The self-organisation and their underlying mechanisms in social insects. - Interactions and co-evolution between host and parasites, e.g. between honeybee and small hive beetle.

I lead the Social Insects Research Group, which studies fundamental and applied aspects of sociality in ants, bees, termites and wasps, with a particular focus on honeybees.

Click here for more information about the Social Insects Research Group.

I am affiliated with the University of Pretoria Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) to which I contribute entomological capacity and expertise.


Postdoctoral researchers


Dr. Fabien Demares. University of Pretoria Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Ezette du Rand. University of Pretoria Postdoctoral Fellow

Postgraduate students


Mrs. Aka Antwi-Agyakawa. PhD in Entomology

Miss Laura C. Bester. PhD in Entomology

Mr. Abdelmutalab Gesmalla. PhD in Entomology

Mr. Njelembo Mbewe. PhD in Entomology

Mrs. Fiona Mumoki. PhD in Entomology

Mrs. Nelly Ndungu. PhD in Entomology

Mrs. Beatrice Nganso. PhD in Entomology

Mr. Vincent Nyasembe. PhD in Entomology

Mr. Louwtjie Snyman. PhD in Entomology

Miss Henriek Bosua. MSc in Zoology

Mrs. Chamanti Laing. MSc in Entomology

Miss Mmatsawela Ramahlo. MSc in Zoology

Mr. Gordon Ringani. MSc in Zoology

Miss Zoe van Vuuren. MSc in Entomology

Mr. Alex Nepomuceno. BSc Honours in Entomology

Miss Anneke Schoeman. BSc Honours in Entomology

Mr. Liam Selby. BSc Honours in Zoology


Dr. Olabimpe Okosun. PhD in Entomology (2016)

Dr. Ursula Strauss. PhD in Entomology (2016)

Published by Christopher Weldon

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